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Full text of "The museum of natural history, with introductory essay on the natural history of the primeval world : being a popular account of the structure, habits, and classification of the various departments of the animal kingdom: quadruped, birds, reptiles, fishes, shells, and insects, including the insects destructive to agriculture"

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U ' /Y 

[THEiy^H^HI^ - 




SIB JOHN RICHABDSON. C.B.. F.B.S. Lond.. Hon. F.R.S. Edin., 

Author ,.( ihe Fauna Uoreali Americana: Arctic Search after Sir John rrmikli.i. [ 


I orator of York Museum ; Author of Trustine on Zoology; Element! of Entomology, ic. *<. . 


and formerly Lecturer 


Anther of X-.ral Iliitorv of British Kntomostnu;*. Author of popular Treatises ou Zoology 

Cyulopwdia of the Natural Science*, ic. Iuecu, Crustacea. Ac. 






Stack Annex 





MAMMALIA, 1 to 34 

BIRDS, 1 " 30 

" .37 


REPTILES, 1 to 8 

AMPHIBIA, 1 " 4 

FISHES, 1 " 17 



MOLLUSCA, 1 " 11 

TERMS USED IN CONCHOLOGY, . . . , ' 1 " 4 


ACALEPHjE 1 " 2 

POLYPS, 1 " 2 












EVERAL features distinguish this Work from others in which kindred topics are dealt with. 

The place in Biblical Literature which it seeks to occupy, is at present vacant. There is no 
single work existing which is devoted exclusively to the same subjects. 

British and foreign books of Eastern travel may be numbered by hundreds. Scattered throughout 
these, which are for the most part expensive, very many facts are to be met with which shed much 
light on those aspects of the sacred text now chiefly in view. Efforts have been made to render this 
^ information most truly useful, by embodying it in one work. Thus far the Author's task has been 
^ h one of compilation. But this forms only a very subordinate characteristic of the Work. 

JJ Great attention continues to be given, both in this country and America, to the relations between the Bible 
^^and Science. These are still discussed in highly influential quarters. The sounds of the warfare reach the intelli- 
gent classes in the community. They have not, however, any one work easily within reach, treating both of the 
causes and the bearings of those great controversies which will not fail to be waged with growing keenness as 
science advances. Though it would be unprofitable to dwell, in a controversial spirit, on the various theories of 
creation and of the natural history of man. which, during the last twenty years, have had great prominence given to 
them, yet an acquaintance with these must be valued by every lover of truth, and especially by all who receive the 
Bible as the fully-inspired word of God. 

The chief difficulties in the relations between the Bible and Science, are associated with the opening pages of 
scripture. A full exposition will be given of the first eight chapters of Genesis. And, in connection with the exposition, 
recent " Geological Theories of creation," " The Theory of Development by Natural Law," and that proposed by 
Mr. Darwin on " The Origin of Species," will be carefully reviewed, and set in popular aspects. Questions 
touching the " Presence of Death in the world before the Fall of Man," the hypothesis of a " Race of Preadamite 
Men," " The Unity of the Human Race," and the " Extent of the Deluge," will all be considered in the introductory 
pages of this "W ork. 

Again ; those only who have studied the scriptures from the points of view of advanced science, can be fully 
aware of the great light which may be shed on their meaning by Geology, Botany, Zoology, and Physical Geography. 
Nor is this to be reckoned of little moment. Every illustration drawn from the works of God, and every figure used 
by men who spake as the Holy Ghost gave them utterance, must be interesting. Intelligent men have thankfully 
received the contributions which, in recent years, have been made to the elucidation of scripture, by those who, 
sound in the faith, have either devoted themselves to the study of the original languages of the Bible, or have 
brought a trustworthy historical criticism to bear on the discoveries of Champollion, Lepsius, Layard, Rawlinson, 
Wilkinson, and others. It is fitting, then, that the students of Natural Science should bring their gifts and lay them 
upon the same altar. 

The title given above, indicates the special design of this Work. But it will often be necessary to give matter 
which could not well be specified on the title-page. Information will be drawn from Metallurgy, Meteorology, 
Astronomy, and, occasionally, from Archaeology. When needful, a sketch of the civil history of particular countries 
and places will be introduced. It is hoped that the Work will thus be found both popularly useful, and, also, 
interesting to theological students and ministers of Christ. 

" BIBLICAL NATURAL SCIENCE " is written from the point of view of Christianity rather than of Theism. It 
is kept in mind throughout that the Saviour of sinners was himself the Creator of all things. Thus " when on earth 
all things served him, from the greatest to the least, even to the fishes that walked through the paths of the sea. 
He was Lord over nature, and having nothing, yet in his Father's care for him was truly possessed of all things." 

The Work will be completed in about Twenty Parts, price Two Shillings, each part consisting of Forty-eight Pages 
of Letterpress, and, alternately, Two and Three Pages of Engraved Plates, in addition to the numerous Woodcut 
Mlustrations introduced in the text. 








ORDER I. BIMANA, Hominidce; Man. 

Simiadce; Monkeys of the Old World, i.e., Anthropoid Apes, True 

Apes, Monkeys Proper, and Baboons. 

Cebidce ; Monkeys of the New World, or American Monkeys. 
HapalidcR; Marmozets. 
Lemuridce ; True Lemurs. 
Lichanotidce ; Indris. 
NycticebidcB ; Loris, Galagos, Potto. 
Tarsiidce; Tarsiers. 
Cheiromyidce ; Aye-aye of Madagascar. 
Galeopithecidce ; Flying Lemur of Java. 

f Vespertilionidce ; Pipistrelle, Noctule, Serotine, Barbastelle, Long- 
Eared Bat, &c. 

< Rhinolophidce Horse-shoe Bats. 
I PhyllostomidcB ; Vampires, African Leaf Bat. 
[Pteropida; Kalong, &c. 

[ Talpidce; Moles, Star-Nose, Chrysochlore. 

| Soricidce; Shrew-Moles, Shrews, Musk-Rat, Elephant-Mouse, Soleno- 
-( don, Bulau, &c. 

Tupaiadce ; Tupaias. 
(^ Erinaceadce ; Hedgehogs, Tenrec, Sokinah. 

[ UrsidcB ; Bears, Badgers, Racoon, Ratel, Glutton, Coatimondi, &c. 
Mustelida; Weasels, Martens, Sable, Ermine, Otters, Skunk, Teledu, 

Grisons, &c. 
Viverrida ; Civets, Ichneumons, Genet, Rasse, Paradoxure, Mangue, 

Galet, &c. 

Hycenidce; Hyaenas, Aard-Wolf. 

Canidce ; Wolves and Dogs, Foxes, Jackal, Fennec, Lycaon, Lalande. 
FelidcB ; Cats, Leopards, Lion, Tigers, Puma, Jaguar, Cheetah, Lynx, 

Ounce, Serval. 

f Phoddce ; Seals, Sea-Leopard, Sea-Bear, Sea-Lion, Sea-Elephant. 
\Trichecidce; Walrus. 

Sciuridce; Squirrels, Marmots, Flying Squirrels, Jelerang, Assapan, 


Myoxidtt; Dormice. 
Dipodida; Jerboas, Alak-Daargha. 
Muridce ; Mice, Rats, Hamster, &c. 
Arvicolidce; Voles, Water-Rat, Lemmings, Slepez. 
Castoridce. ; Beaver, Musquash, Coypu. 
Hystrieidce ; Porcupines, Shore-Mole, &c. 

OctodontidcK ; Octodon, Schizodon, Spalacopus, Habrocome, Ctenomys. 
ChinchUlidcB ; Chinchilla, Chincha, Viscacha. 
Cavidce ; Cavies, Agoutis, Capybara, Paca. 
[ Leporidce ; Hares and Rabbits, Calling Hare, Ogotona. 




f Manida: ; Pangolins or Scaly Ant-eaters. 

ORDER VIIT EDENTATA J M y rmec P ha 9^^ ; Trae Ant-eaters, Tainandua, Aard-Vark. 

" j Dasypidce; Armadillos, Pichichiago. 
[ Bradypidce ; Sloths, Unau. 

f Bovidce; Oxen, Bison, Buffaloes, Musk Ox. 

isEgoscerid CE ; Goats and Sheep, Ibex. 
Antilopidce ; Gnoos, Antelopes, Eland, Harte-Beest, Bubale, Prong- 

ORDER IX. RUMINANTIA, \ horn, &c. 

Camelopardidce ; Giraffe. 

I Cervidce; Stags, Elk, Rein-deer, Roebuck, Muntjak, Musk-deer. 
[_ Camelidce; Camels, Llamas. 

j ORDER X. SOLIDUNGULA, Equidce; Horses, Zebras, Quagga, Ass, Kiang. 

f Elephantida ; Elephants. 
RhinoceridcB ; Rhinoceroses. 

ORDER XI.-PACHYDERMATA, J WP*"mid f e ; Hippopotamus. 

j Tapvndce; Tapirs. 

I Suidce; Boars, "\Vart-Hogs, Peccaries, Babyroussa. 

[^ Hyracidce ; Dasse, Daman. 

f Balcenidce; Mysticete, Razor-back, &c. 
"5T1T r J Catodontidce ; Cachalot or Sperm Whales. 

" 1 Delphinidce ; Dolphins, Porpoise, Beluga, Narwhal. 
[Manatidce; Manatee, Dugong, Steller's Ilhytina. 


(" Phalascomyda ; Wombat. 
Macropidcc ; Kangaroos, Potoroo, Tree-Kangaroos. 
Phalangistidce ; Phalangers, Vulpine Opossum, Flying Phalangers, 


Peramelidce ; Bandicoot Rats. 

DasyuridcE ; Ursine Opossum, Phascogales, Banded Myrmecobe, 

[Diddphidce; American Opossums. Yapock. 

ORDER XIV.-MOKOTREMATA, lOrnitMyncUdv; Duck-bill. 

(Jacnyglossiflre: Porcupine Ant-eaters. 



BEFORE we enter upon an exposition of the fascinatig 1 years. The palaeontologist, therefore, pursues his 

r . . i ,*u 4- , u U~L:J. j *., . ~r *; .: j- : i i_. e ui_ 

science which teaches us the habits and structure of 
the various forms of animal life, arranges them in their 
several tribes and genera and species, points out their 
resemblances and differences, and determines their part 
in the grand economy of the universe ; before, in a 
word, we proceed to a survey of the Animal Kingdom 
as it is now presented to our gaze, it is well we should 
inquire into its earlier history, and ascertain what facts 
we can respecting the past condition of its individual 

The researches of modern geologists have revealed 
to us the fact that Earth was not always tenanted by 
the same forms of animal life, but that each age and 
period has possessed its own separate creation; each 
creation beinar, as it were, an advance upon its prede- 
cessor, and a further, and in some respects a grander, 
development of the Creative Power. 

The naturalist who would fully comprehend the 
extent, beauty, and splendour of the science to which 
he has devoted himself, needs also to be a paleontolo- 
gist ; that is, he should be able to trace these successive 
developments from the tiny trilobites that inhabited the 
Silurian seas, to the mighty mammoth which prowled 
among the icy wastes of Siberia from the apparently 
shapeless medusa which floats like an inanimate jelly 
on the summer wave, to the exquisite organization and 
colossal structure of the Asiatic elephant. 

We know that before our planet assumed its present 
configuration, it passed through a series of great and 
astounding changes, which have left their indelible 
records upon its surface and in its bosom. We know 
that these changes in the condition of the earth were 
accompanied by not less surprising changes in the 
characters of its then inhabitants. That such would 
be the case we might easily have presumed from our 
knowledge of the fact that all animals, even now, will 
not flourish under the same conditions ; that while one 
genus seeks the dry and barren sands of the desert, 
another can only live among the marshes of an inun- 
dated coast; that while one basks in the warm rays 
of a tropical sun, another flourishes in the obscure 
twilight of the polar regions. 

We are not, however, left to the mercies of philoso- 
phical speculation. The records of her past are securely 
preserved by Earth, and may be read at leisure by those 
who have eyes to see. The curtain that concealed them 
for so many centuries has been lifted, and in her rocks 

vestigations under singularly favourable circumstances. 
He is not left to-surmise or guess ; he has only to deal 
with patent and irrefragable facts, with certain and 
incontrovertible evidence. With equal eloquence and 
truth it has been said that the earth is a book written 
by the finger of God. Its leaves are those stratified 
rocks which superimposed on one another in an 
ascending series make up its crust, represent the 
duration of ages by their thickness, and the cataclysms 
of creation by their fractures. Its letters are the fossil 
remains of the plants and animals that lie ensepulchred 
in its womb ; the permanent traces of volcanic erup- 
tions, and slow-moving glaciers, and ever-lapsing waters; 
the faint but enduring footprints of the strange forms 
which once crawled over its soft mud ; the ripple-marks 
of primeval seas, whose music has died away into the 
silence of a remote and mysterious past ! All these 
hieroglyphics, says a recent writer, with which the stony 
leaves of the earth's great book are crowded, thick as 
the inscriptions on the buried bricks of Nineveh and 
the mummy caves of Egypt, have been deciphered with 
remarkable accuracy by the geologist. Not less signi- 
ficant are they to him than the trail of his enemy to 
the North American Indian, or the footprints of the 
camel to the Arab nomade of the desert. 

" As the ancient civilization," remarks Mr. Macmillan, 
" of the great empires of Egypt, Nineveh, and Babylon, 
has been recovered to us, and pictured in nearly all its 
original grandeur and completeness, from the relics left 
behind in the mounds of Khorsabad and the temples of 
Memphis and Thebes, so from these remains of the pre- 
Adamite world we can reconstruct, in imagination, the 
successive scenery of its different epochs. Before the 
eye of fancy, at the spell of some fossil, or insignificant 
impression in a wayside stone, a combination of land- 
scape scenery with which there is nothing an^ogous in 
the present condition of things, passes iu review ; and 
standing on this high vantage-ground of Time, we can 
survey, by the help of those landmarks placed here and 
there for our guidance, the whole history of our earth, 
the whole series of creations which one after another 
appeared and vanished ! " 

This series of creations, regarded from the naturalist 
or palaeontologist's point of view, we now proceed to 
consider. The reader who follows us carefully in our 
necessarily brief hut not the less accurate survey, will 
remark, with wonder and admiration, how they all lead 

and fossils we may study the revolutions of millions of up, by slow but certain steps, to the preparation of Earth 


for its last and greatest inhabitant Man. He will see, 
moreover, a constant succession of forms of animal life 
rising from lower to higher organizations ; not so much, 
it is true, by the law of development as by that of sub- 
stitution. Yet he will observe, too, a certain measure 
of development. It may not be correct to say that the 
trilobite has developed into man, but it is certain that 
all man's parts and organs to use Professor Owen's 
expression have been " sketched out " in anticipation 
in the inferior animals. All those creatures which lived 
and died in the bygone ages of the primeval world lived 
and died in pre-ordained preparation for the embodi- 
ment of the "divine Archetype" in his precious "ves- 
ture of humanity." Thus, then, to the naturalist, Man 
must ever appear as the apex of creation, the most 
perfect form of animal life, the " centre of the universe 
of time." 


The first forms of life upon the surface of our planet 
would seem to have been vegetable ; the earliest animal 
organisms belong to the SILURIAN PERIOD.* The earth 
was then covered with seas of no great depth, whose 
waters eddied round isolated rocks, or seethed over 
barren submarine reefs; rocks arid reefs being clothed 
with flowerless Algae, among which various species of 
Molluscs found an asylum and a provision. 

These molluscs belonged to the group BracMopoda, 
or arm-footed ; a group with bivalve shells, differing 
in internal structure from most recent bivalve molluscs. 
In these the mantle, or pallium, consisted of two broad 
expansions or lobes, which shut in the soft body of the 
animal. The processes of respiration and aeration of 
the blood were carried on by the surface of the lobes, 
which were covered with a labyrinth of minute blood- 
vessels, and fringed along the edges with vibratory cilia. 
By means of the cilia the animal maintained a constant 
motion in the surrounding water, which provided it 
with the necessary supplies of fresh air. It procured 
its food through the agency of a singular apparatus ; two 
long tremulous arms, which, proceeding from the sides 
of its mouth, were furnished with a host of filaments 
to entangle as in a mesh its prey. 

Among the fossil remains of this period the genus 
Lingula is especially abundant. It is the only bivalve 
with a pedunculated shell; that is, the only bivalve 
able to attach itself to external objects by means of a 
hollow fleshy tube, called a peduncle. It had two long 
ciliated arms, like its congener, which it curled up during 
repose. Its shell was thin, with equal valves, of a horny 
or calcareous character, peaked at the apex, and gener- 
ally open at' the base. 

This genus is represented in the islands of the Indian 
seas by several existing species. 

In the Silurian strata, and, indeed, in all Palaeozoic 
rocks up to the Triassic, are found numerous remains of 
a genus of molluscs which paleontologists have named 
Orthoceras, straight-horn. In many respects it is 
closely akin to that fairy -like tenant of the existing seas, 
the Nautilus, and might not inaccurately be described 

So called because the strata composing it were discovered 
on an extensive scale, by Sir Roderick Murchison, in that part of 
Wales formerly inhabited by the Silures. 

as a nautilus unrolled and stretched out straight. It 
has a straight shell, and its interior compartments are 
separated by thin partitions, and pierced by a cylindri- 
cal tube or siphuncle. According to the form and size 
of this siphuncle the Orthoceratites have been classified 
into certain sub-genera, including nearly 200 species. 
They are very widely distributed, and of all the palaeozoic 
fossils are the most abundant. In the Silurian seas they 
lived a life of piracy and rapine, preying upon other 
animals, which they hunted into the profoundest recesses, 
and strangled in the tenacious grasp of their long arms. 

The Orthis (straight) is a genus of fossil brachiopods, 
also found in the Silurian rocks, and including upwards 
of 100 species. 

To the same period belongs the genus Terebratula, 
of which only one living species exist, but the fossil 
are more than 100 in number. The animal was 
attached to its smooth circular shell, which had a trun- 
cated and perforated beak, by a pedicle ; and the animal 
itself consisted of a kind of slender, flattened, calcareous 
loop, with divergent pieces, and a ciliated appendage on 
either side. The shell is covered with minute perfora- 
tions, and frequently ribbed in a very curious manner. 
It bears a general resemblance to that of the cockle, BO 
plentiful on our British shores. 

The only family of Crustaceans created in the Silurian 
period was that of the Trilolites, first described, upwards 
of a century ago, by Edward Lhuyd, then curator of 
the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford. 

They appear to have moved only by swimming, and 
to have lived very near the surface of the water. When 
in locomotion they preserved an inverted position, with 
the belly upwards, and on the approach of danger imme- 
diately rolled themselves up into a ball, like the hedge- 
hog. They haunted the vicinity of the low marshy 
coasts, where they lived gregariously in countless 
legions, feeding on the smaller water-animals. Bur- 
meister, whose monograph on this order is remarkable 
for closeness of observation and lucidity of statement, 
considers their nearest type, in the present seas, to be 
the Entomostraceous Crustacea known as the Phyllapoda. 

Their body was covered with an ingeniously-jointed 
shell, in which, says Figuier, the mediaeval armourer 
might have found all his contrivances anticipated, with 
not a few besides which his invention failed to discover. 

The head was protected by an oval shield ; the body 
composed of a certain number of rings or segments ; 
the tail of many closely-fitted joints. The eyes were 
sessile and compound, and of remarkable magnifying 
power ; the lens in one species, Asaphus caudatus, con- 
sisting of fully 400, and in another, Asaphus tyrannus, 
of at least 6000 facets. This extraordinary strength of 
vision was doubtless requisite to reveal to them the 
minute aquatic organisms on which they preyed. * 

* In reference to the eyes of the Trilobites, Dr. Bnckland has 
some very just and interesting observations. He points out that 
the waters wherein they maintained their existence throughout 
the entire period of the Transition formation, could not have 
been that imaginary turbid and compound chaotic fluid, from the 
precipitates of which some geologists have supposed the materials 
of the surface of the earth to be derived; because the structure 
of their eyes is such, that any kind of fluid in which they could 
have been efficient at the bottom, must have been pure and trans- 
parent enough to allow the passage of light to organs of vision. 


The mouth was- placed forward and beneath the 
head. No antennae or limbs have been recognized in 
any species ; and it is probable their feet were simply 
soft, leaf-like appendages, carrying the gills, which, from 
their perishable nature, would leave no traces in a fossil 

The Trilobites varied greatly in size. While many 
were no larger than a pin's head, others as the 
Asaphus gigas were eighteen inches long. Upwards 
of 400 species have been determined. Of these forty- 
six are Silurian. They wholly ceased to exist after the 
Carboniferous epoch. Their structure is a beautiful 
example of the articulated type, and admirably illus- 
trates that unity of design which, is conspicuous through 
all the diversity of nature. 

Many other orders of molluscs were abundantly 
represented in the primeval ocean of the Silurian period. 
Among the Cephalopoda we may name the Gyroceras 
and Lituites cornu-arietis, or ram's horn, which, like 

Lituites corrm-arietis. One-third natural size. 

the Orthoceras, were allied in many respects to our 
modern Sepia and Nautilus. The Gasteropoda (belly- 
footed), so called because their locomotive apparatus is 
attached to the under part of the body, found a type in 
the genus Bellerophon, which, with their elongated 
transparent body and rudder-like fin, resembled the 
existing Carinaria, and inhabited the lowest depths of 
the sea. Several species of Lamellibranchiata (an 
order of Acephalous or headless molluscs) also existed : 
in these the shell consisted of particles of carbonate 
of lime, exuded from the surface of the mantle, and 

whose nature is so fully disclosed by the state of perfection in 
which they are preserved. With regard to the atmosphere of 
the then existing world, we may also infer that had it differed 
materially from its actual condition, it might have so far affected 
the rays of light, that a corresponding difference from the eyes 
of existing crustaceans would have been found in the organs on 
which the impressions of such rays were then received. 

We may also learn, respecting light, from the resemblance of 
these most ancient organizations to existing eyes, that the mutual 
relations formerly existing between the eye and light were the 
same at the time when crustaceans gifted with the faculty of vision 
lirst flourished in the primeval seas, as at the present moment. 

Hence it appears that among the earliest organic remains there 
existed an optical instrument of most curious construction, adapted 
to the production of a peculiar kind of vision. We do not find 
this instrument undergoing a series of experimental changes from 
more simple into more complex forms : we find it created at the 
very outset in the fulness of perfect adaptation to the uses and 
condition of the class of creatures to which this kind of eye has 
ever been and is still appropriate. (See Dr. Buckland's Bridge- 
water Treatise, Geology and Mineralogy considered with refer- 
ence to Natural Theology, vol. i. pp. 401-403.) 

contained in the cellular cavities or between the mem- 
branous layers of the animal ; the size of the latter 
being always proportionate to that of the shell. 

Nor were specimens of the class Radiata wanting 
the Echinodermata being represented by the Hemicoa- 
mites among other genera ; all of which, like existing 

llemlcosmites pyriformis. One-third natural size. 

types, were distinguished by their possession of a hard 
coriaceous or leathery covering, a digestive and vascular 
system, locomotive organs, and sexual distinctions. 

" In this group," says Mr. Patterson, " we find animals 
of extremely dissimilar appearance associated together. 
One species is attached, for a certain period, to a stem, 
and resembles a polype, with its waving and sensitive 
arms. In the common star-fish, or ' five fingers,' we 
have the arms radiating from a common centre. In the 
sea-urchins there are no arms, and the form of the 
body is globular; and passing over some intermediate 
gradations of figure, we reach creatures which in external 
aspect resemble worms, and have even been classed as 
such. At one extremity of the range the Echino- 
dermata remind us of polypes creatures of inferior 
organization ; at the other extremity they approach the 
annulose animals, whose structure is of a higher grade." 

In these warm shallows of the Silurian ocean flourished 
also several species of Pteropods (wing-footed), Hetero- 
pods (paddle-footed), Graptolites, and Cystidians ; 
all having sprung into life during the earlier times 
of the Silurian period. These, however, possessed 
no peculiar characteristics which call for a detailed 
notice ; and we shall content ourselves with indicating, 
in the following summary, the general groups and classes 
of animals belonging to the lower (i.e., the earlier) 
Silurian period, and the strata wherein their remains 
are found interred. 


Gneiss, Hornblende, and Mica- 




I.lanberis slates, and sandy strata 

Lingula flags, . 
Tremadoc slates, 

Annelides (worms). 

1 Trilobites; Olenus; Cono- 

! coryphe paradoxides ; 

I Brachiopods ; Cystid- 

J eans. 

) Trilobites ; Bellerophon ; 

I Orthoceratites ; Theca. 

Foraminifera, a class of minute many-chambered shells, so 
called from their perforated partitions. 





Dark-coloured slates, calcareous ) 

flags, sandstones, . . . .( D ' d ' 

\ Brachiopods ; Lamelli- 

Shelly sandstones; conglomerate/ branchiata; Pteropods; 
and shales; Bala limestone, . ,f" Cystideans; Grapto- 
) lites; Trilobites. 


During the later ages of the Silurian period some 
new genera of fishes made their appearance in the 
shallow ocean. " The so-called fish-bones," says Figuier, 
" have been the subject of considerable doubt. Between 
the Upper Ludlow rocks, opposite the castle of Ludlow, 
and the next ascending stratum, occurs a thin bed of 
soft, earthy shale and fine, soft, yellowish greenstone, 
immediately overlying the Ludlow rock : just below 
this lies a remarkable animal deposit, called the Ludlow 
bone-bed, from its large deposits of the bones of 
animals." Long before geology acquired form and 
substance as a science, these bones attracted attention 
and excited curiosity. The old poet, Michael Drayton, 
refers to them in his Poly- Olbion : 

"With strange and sundry tales 

Of all their wondrous things; and not the least in Wales, 
Of that prodigious spring (him neighbouring as he past), 
That little fishes' bones continually doth cast." 

When Sir Roderick Murchison, who may justly be 
entitled the great historian of Siluria, first examined 
this deposit he found it to exhibit " a matted mass of 
bony fragments, for the most part of small size and of 
very peculiar character." These fragments were partly 
of a mahogany hue, and partly of so brilliant a black, as 
to convey the impression that the bed was a heap of 
broken beetles. 

Professor Owen has given it as his opinion that 
among the remains may distinctly be recognized those 
of fishes. Other naturalists have controverted the pro- 
fessor's statement, which, however, is supported by Sir 
Roderick Murchison. Without entering into so vexed 
a question, we may turn to the consideration of those 
fossil relics which all observers have agreed in pro- 
nouncing of a Crustacean character. 

The Trilobites, let us add, now attained their greatest 
development, as in the species Calymene, Phragmoceras, 
and Ilcenus. 

The Silurjan crustaceans were of a very curious 
form, not altogether unlike the existing prawn. They 
were inhabitants of the fresh waters, and endowed with 
extraordinary voracity. The Scotch quarrymen called 
them " Seraphim," from the winged form and feather- 
like ornament of the thoracic appendage. 

The best known species are the Pterygotus lilolatus 
and the Eurypterus, 

Now, too, first budded on the deep-sea rocks the 
innumerable members of the order Crinoidea or Encri- 
nites, commonly called " Stone Lilies." " We may 
judge," says Dr. Buckland, " of the degree to which the 
inhabitants of these species multiplied among the first 
inhabitants of the sea, from the countless myriads of 
their petrified remains which fill so many limestone 

beds of the Transition formations, and compose vast 
strata of entrochal marble, extending over large tracts 
of country in Northern Europe and North America. 
The substance of this marble is often almost as entirely 
made up of the petrified bones of Encrinites as a corn- 
rick is composed of straws. Man applies it to con- 
struct his palace and adorn his sepulchre; but there 
are few who know, and fewer still who duly appreciate, 
the surprising fact that much of this marble is composed 
of the skeletons of millions of organized beings, once 
endowed with life and susceptible of enjoyment, which, 
after performing the part that was for awhile assigned 
to them in living nature, have contributed their remains 
towards the composition of the mountain masses of the 

The Crinoidean, or lily-shaped animal, is thus de- 
scribed by Hugh Miller : " A round, oval, or angular 
column, composed of numerous articulating joints, 
supporting at its summit a series of plates or joints 
which form a cup -like body, containing the viscera, 
from whose upper rim proceed five articulated arms, 
dividing into tentaculated fingers, more or less num- 
erous, surrounding the aperture of the mouth." 

There are several varieties, but the two most con- 
spicuous and beautiful genera are 

The Encrinites, with a circular stem, very closely 
resembling the external form of the lily ; and 

The Pentacrinites, which have a pentagonal stem. 

The former genus belongs to the older rocks, but all 
its species became extinct before the Lias period, new 
groups succeeding, which, in our modern seas, are 
represented by only two types. 

The animal lived in a fixed position, attached to the 
sea-bed or to some external object, moving itself in 
quest of food by bending forward or downward its 
flexible column. This column, or stem, consisted of 
numerous ossicula, i.e., small bones, joints, or articula- 
tions, which, being perforated in the centre, may be 
strung together like beads. In our northern counties 
they are very frequently met with, and are commonly 
called " wheel stones," or "St. Cuthbert's beads:-." To 
the latter appellation Sir Walter Scott refers in his 
poem of " Marmion": 

" On a rock by Lindisfarne 
St. Cnthbert sits, and toils to frame 
The sea-born beads that bear his name." 

According to Dr. Mantell, they have been discovered 
in the barrows or tumuli of the ancient Britons, who 
appear to have used them as ornaments. 

From the same authority we learn that the channel 
formed by the united ossicula of the column has origi- 
nated the curious fossils called in Derbyshire screw or 
pulley stones, which are, in fact, flint casts of these 
cavities. They occur in the beds of chert interstrati- 
fied with the mountain limestone; the siliceous matter, 
when fluid, filled up the channels and surrounded the 
stems: the calcareous substance has since been dis- 
solved and removed, and solid cylinders of flint, resem- 
bling a pulley, remain. "In the quarries on Middleton 
Moor, near Cromford, where extensive beds of limestone, 
composed of crinoidal remains, are worked for chimney- 
pieces and other ornamental purposes, beautiful exam- 
ples of these fossils may be obtained. The cavities of 


the column and ossicula are often filled with white 
calcareous spar, while the ground of the marble is of a 
dark reddish-brown colour." 

Thus, then, the marble which now adorns our habi- 
tations was elaborated, ages ago, by countless myriads 
of ocean's living flowers those rare and beautiful 
organisms whose principal living representative is the 
Pentacrinus caput Medusce, an inhabitant of the genial 
waters of the Caribbean Sea. 

The chief species of the Crinoideans found in the 
Silurian strata are: Encrinus liliformis, Dimencrinites 
decadactylua, Cyathocrinites gonodactylus, Hypantho- 
crinites decorus, and Cupressocrinus ci-assits. 

The advent of coralline animals also belongs to the 
period we are now considering. Of these, however, we 
shall speak hereafter. A hue of reference must be given 
to the genus Euomphalus, so named in allusion to the 
deeply umbilicated, or navel- like, depression of its disc. 
The animal inhabited an univalve shell, divided inter- 
nally into several chambers. As it grew in size, it 

a, I'entacrinites Brinrens, reduced ; 6. the same from the Lias of 
Lyme Kegis, natural size. 

abandoned the innermost chamber, which served it for 
an asylum, leaving it vacant, and secreting behind itself 
a partition wall. This operation was repeated at each 
successive stage of its growth, so that the animal and 
its house expanded simultaneously. 

The fishes belonging to this period have been classi- 
fied under a genus named Sphagodus, or murderous 

tooth ; they were, undoubtedly, the pirates of the 
Silurian seas, whose ravages confined within reasonable 
limits the increase of the lower organisms. 

We tabulate, as before, the rocks and fossils of the 

Rocks. Fossils. 

Hard sandstone, slates, and conglo 

merate beds, 
Calcareous sandstone, coarse grits, 

and purple shales, 

Limestone and shale; 

" f Crinoideans and Corals. 


Shale, with calcareous limestone, . Marine molluscs. 
Argillaceous limestone, .... Crinoideans. 
Micaceous grey sandstone, and mud- > Crustaceans; Fish of the 
Sphayodus genus. 

;one, and mud-) 


We now come to an investigation of the natural his- 
tory of the Devonian, or Old Red Sandstone, so called 
because the formation is very largely developed 
in the county of Devon. 

The seas were still of vast extent, but their 
surface was diversified by scattered islets, on 
whose rocky shores the Mollusca and Articulata 
of the period passed through their various stages 
of existence. Here the lily-like Encrinites still 
bloomed and flourished ; on the sandy shore bur- 
rowed enormous annelids, large as a man's arm ; 
the eurypterus still paddled through the teeming 
waters; and throngs of strange ganoid fishes 
fluttered to and fro, in quest of food or in flight 
from an enemy. 

The fishes were, perhaps, the most conspicuous 
members of the Devonian fauna. Uncouth were 
they of form, and widely different from any of 
the species which inhabit our present seas. 
Many were shut up in a complete armour of 
bony plates ; others glittered with strange coats 
of hard enamelled scale ; not a few were fur- 
nished with fin-spines and other external wea- 
pons of attack and defence. So curious and 
unusual was their conformation that early obser- 
vers not unfrequently set them down as crusta- 
ceans, reptiles, or even "huge water-beetles." 

Take, for example, the Coccosteus, which may 
be described as a half-armoured or partially 
plated individual, only the upper part of the body 
down to the fins being protected by scales. It 
derives its scientific name (" berry-bone ") from 
the small berry-like projections or tubercles which 
studded its plated surfaces. 

Still more remarkable in aspect was the Pter- 
iclitJiys, or Winged Fish, whose fossil remains 
were first discovered by Hugh Miller. His 
description of this apparently monstrous anomaly, 
which nevertheless was admirably fitted to discharge 
its peculiar functions in the economy of creation, will 
interest the reader. Imagine, he says, the figure of r 
man roughly drawn in black on a grey ground, the 
head amputated at the shoulders, the arms extended 
as in the 'attitude of swimming, the body rather long 
than otherwise, and narrowing from the chest down- 


wards ; one of the legs cut away at the hip-joint, and 
the other, as if to preserve the balance, placed directly 
under the centre of the figure which it seems to sup- 
port. Such, at a first glance, is the appearance of the 
fossil in its sandstone bed. 

The body was of very considerable depth, perhaps 
little less deep proportionally from back to breast than 
the body of the tortoise ; the under part was flat, the 
upper rose towards the centre into a roof-like ridge, 

Fishes of the Devonian epoch. 1, Coccosteus, one-third natural size; 2, Pterichthys, 
one-fourth natural size; 3, Gephalaspis, one-fourth natural size. 

and both under and upper were encased in a strong 
armour of bony plates, which, resembling those of the 
tortoise more closely than those of the crustacean, 
received their accessions of growth at the sutures or 

On the under side the plates are divided by two lines 
of suture, which run, the one longitudinally through 
the centre of the body, the other transversely, also 
through the centre of it : they bisect one another at 
right angles, but a lozenge-shaped plate intervenes at 
the point of bisection. 

There are thus five plates at the lower or belly part 
of the animal, all thickly tuberculated outside with 
wart-like protuberances ; the inner present appearances 
indicative of a bony structure. 

The plates on the upper side are more numerous 
and less easily described ; just as it would be difficult to 
particularize the forms of the various stones which com- 
pose the ribbed and pointed roof of a Gothic cathedral ; 
the arched ridge or hump of the back requiring, in a 
somewhat similar way, a peculiar form and arrange- 
ment of the plates. 

A stout plate, of hexagonal form, covers and 1 protects 
the apex of the ridge, like a skull-cap or helmet ; and 
nearly corresponds in position to the flat central part of 
the under side. Around it runs a border of variously- 
formed plates, diminishing in size and increasing in 
number towards the head, and separated, like the 
different portions of a dissected map, by deep sutures. 
All present a tuberculated surface. The eyes are fixed 

in front, on a prominence much lower than the roof- 
like ridge of the back. As in many other fishes, the 
mouth seems to have opened in the edge of the crea- 
ture's snout, where a line traversing the back would 
bisect a line traversing the belly. The two arms or 
paddles are placed so far forward as to give the body a 
disproportionate and decapitated appearance. From 
the shoulder to the elbow, so to speak, occurs a swell- 
ing muscular projection, as in the human arm ; the part 
below is flattened so as to resemble 
the blade of an oar, and terminates in 
a strong sharp point. The tail is of 
considerable length, more than equal 
to a third of the entire figure, and of 
an angular form the base represent- 
ing the part attached to the body, and 
the apex its termination. It was 
clothed with small tuberculated rhom- 
boidal plates, like scales ; and where 
the internal structure is shown, appear- 
ances may be seen of a vertebrated 
bone, with rib-like processes standing 
out at a sharp angle. 

From this life-like description the 
reader will readily image to himself the 
actual aspect of the Pterichthys. Its 
jointed arms, or paddles, were em- 
ployed in swimming; and its speed, 
combined with its defensive armour, 
must have rendered it a formidable 
denizen of the Devonian seas. 

The Cephalaspis, or Buckler-head, 
bore a considerable resemblance to 
the fishes of the present time. It was protected only 
on the anterior part of the body; its head-plate 
consisting of a single piece, shaped like a shield, whence 
its scientific appellation. 

Other fishes of the period were undefended by any 
such armour as that which we have described, but the 
strong resisting scales that enveloped the whole body 
afforded, nevertheless, a considerable protection. Such 
were the Acanthodians, whose fins were armed and 
supported by sharp spiny bones ; the Climatius; the 
Diplacanthus ; the Dipterus, or double-finned; the 
Osteolepis, or bony-scale; the Holoptycliius, or all- 
wrinkle, so named in allusion to the curious wrinkle- 
like engraving on its large enamelled scales; and 
the Asterolepis, or star-scale. 

The head of the latter was encased in bony plates, 
fretted with star-like tubercles (whence the name) ; and 
its body was covered with bony scales, not less beauti- 
fully sculptured than the marbles of Nineveh. Even 
the elaborate carvings of Benvenuto Cellini seem rude 
and unfinished compared with those which fretted the 
armour of this inhabitant of the Devonian ocean. It 
was a fish of large size, equalling in that respect, and 
sometimes surpassing, a large porpoise. Its vertebral 
column is supposed to have been cartilaginous, like 
that of the sturgeon ; its teeth partook of the characters 
both of the fish and the reptile classes the outer row 
being thickly set, as in the fish, while the inner was 
thinly set, as in the reptiles. 

In reference to these species, however, Dr. Page 


observes that their forms would not startle us, notwith- 
standing their apparent singularity, though they were 
suddenly restored to take their pLices among existing 
fishes. He reminds us that the little armed bull- 
head of our British shores wears an armour as mar- 
vellous as, and even more enriched than, that of the 
Ccphalaspis. The Ostracion, or trunk-fish of the 
Indian Ocean, is encased in a bony box as strangely 
fabricated as that of the Pterichthys or Coccosteus. Not 
less formidable weapons are the spines of the balistes 
and sea-snipe than the ichthyodorulites of the Dipla- 
canthus; and the scales of the bony pike of South 
America gleam with as bright an enamel, and exhibit 
as quaint a sculpturing, as those of the Osteolepis or 
Holoptycliius of the old red sandstone. 

In the Devonian fauna a very important place was 
held by the Crustacea, and among the Crustacea by a 
family named the Eurypteridce, which in some respects 
resembled our existing king-crabs, as in their carapace 
and organs of digestion ; in others, our present lobsters, 
as in their prolonged and segmented bodies. They 
were furnished with " broad, paddle-like, swimming 
limbs," and frequently with huge prehensile claws ; 
measured from three to six feet in length ; and acted as 
the scavengers of the Devonian coasts. In the same beds 
with these Crustacea have been discovered an immense 
number of " dark-coloured patches of spawn-like 
organisms," which palaeontologists are now agreed in 
regarding as the ova or spawn of the Eurypterus and the 
Pterygotus, and which bear signal testimony to the 
ancient abundance and prolificness of crustacean life. 

It is generally admitted that in the Devonian period 
the order of reptiles first made their appearance, though 
we have no certain evidence of their existence. Repti- 
lian foot bones and relics have, indeed, been found in 
the Elgin sandstones, but some geologists are of opinion 
that these sandstones do not belong to the Devonian, 
but to the early Triassic formation. As the question is 
of a doubtful character, we shall defer to the newer era 
our consideration of the Telerpeton and the Stagano- 
lepis, though these reptiles are usually treated in con- 
nection with the old red sandstone. 

" Such," we may say in Dr. Page's well-considered 
words, <; is a cursory glance at the life of the Devonian 
epoch. As yet we know scarcely anything of its 
terrestrial flora and fauna. We are like voyagers to 
whom some unknown land looms in the distance through 
the sea-fogs and grey of the morning. Here and there 
a few gleams of light fall on hill-sides green with ferns 
and club-mosses ; and as the mists roll away we catch 
a passing glimpse of some river- mouth fringed with 
reeds and rushes. This, however, is all ; the interior is 
obscured from our vision, and no drift of fruit or forest- 
growth tells of a higher flora. As we coast along we 
almost think we catch the reflection of glacier and 
icebergs, which would indicate in some regions a 
sterility and dearth of vegetation ; but this may be a 
delusion, and only the sparkle of the quartzy cliffs that 
are broken into fragments by the surf that dashes 
against them. When we turn to the ocean, the view 
is somewhat nearer and clearer. In the warmer seas 
corals of various forms and beauty are rearing their 
reefs ; shell-fish of every grade, though not of great 

I numerical abundance,* are busy along shore and in mid- 
water ; fishes of widely different forms swarm in shoals, 
generically few, but individually most numerous ; while 
crustaceans of uncouth shape and gigantic growth feed 
on the tide-borne garbage of the muddy creeks and 
shallow lagoons. This is all ; and much as has been 
made of it, all reason forbids us to accept it as more 
than the merest contribution to the biology of the period." 
Our investigations into the natural history of the 
primeval world now bring us to the 


which is generally subdivided into two great sub-periods: 

1. The Carboniferous Limestone. 

2. The Coal Measures. 

To the former the earth owes some of its most im- 
portant marine deposits ; to the latter those enormous 
treasures of coal which have been so intimately con- 
nected with human progress and the development of 

The limestone deposits which underlie the coal 
system, and which in many places attain a thickness of 
2500 feet, are of marine origin ; have sprung from the 
death and decay of innumerable myriads of zoophytes, 
radiata, cephalopods, fishes, and reef-building corals. 
The seas then teemed with life. Whole strata are now 
composed of the calcareous remains of extinct genera, 
which once trailed along the sands, or clung to the 
weedy rocks, or crawled along the marshy shore, or 
floated in the mid-depths of ocean. The Encrinites 
were then so abundant that entire masses of limestone 
are composed of their fossil relics, just as islands of 
coral consist of coral animals. Nor were shell-fish less 
plentiful. Orthoceratitcs, a yard in length, and Bel- 
lerophons of extraordinary size, flourished in the Warm 
and genial waters, which also fed and supported legions 
of star-fishes (Pentrenites), sea-urchins (Palcechini), 
Serpulce, and Spirorbes. 

Beds of limestone occur in the weald-clay of Sussex, 
which are wholly made up of the univalve called 
Paludina. This was a fresh-water snail, which lived 
in the rivers and lakes of the Carboniferous period. 
Sometimes the shells are found wholly decomposed, 
and their casts alone remain, the interstices being filled 
up with calcareous deposit or indurated marl. In the 
coarser varieties are cavities left by the decomposition 
of the shells; in the compact masses the whole has 
been permeated with a crystalline calcareous infiltration, 
of various shades of grey, blue, and ochre, interspersed 
with pure white. But other animal remains enter into 
their composition, which the naturalist cannot fail to 
regard with interest. These belong to a fresh- water 
Crustacea, called Cypris, which still swarms in our. 
pools and stagnant waters, and resembles a flea covered 
with an oval shield, except as to the head and feet. 
It swims by means of numerous cilia, which are fine 
as pencils of hair. Its shield, shell, or case it sheds 
annually ; and though its natural size does not exceed 
that of a pin's head, yet in certain formations huge 
layers of stone, massive rocks, are composed of the 

* Here we venture to differ from Dr. Page. The species or 
genera were not numerous, but of the abundance of shell-fish in 
certain species we entertain no doubt. 



consolidated remains of various species of Cyprielet, 
while they also constitute a large proportion of the 
mass of many beds of Sussex marble. 

Contemporary with the crustaceans and molluscs now 
described was the Megalichthys, a genus of Sauroid 
fishes, established by the researches of Agassiz. Their 
teeth equalled in size the teeth of the largest living 
crocodiles : in external form nearly conical, they were 
perforated by a conical cavity, like that within the 
teeth of many lizards; the base was fluted, like the 
base of the teeth of the Ichthyosaurus. Their immense 
size is a proof of the magnitude which fishes of this 
family attained at a period so early as that of the 
Carboniferous formation. The object of so formidable 
an apparatus seems to have been, not for mastication, 
but to enable these voracious fresh-water rovers to 
hold fast and swallow the slippery bodies of the fishes 
on which they preyed. 

Seventeen genera of Sauroid fishes have been distin- 
guished by Agassiz, whose only living representatives 
are the genus Lepidosleus, or Bony pike, and the genus 
Polypterus ; the former inhabiting the great rivers of 
North America, and the latter the Nile of Egypt, and 
the Senegal of West Africa. 

Another genus of fishes belonging to the Carboni- 
ferous formations was the Amblypterus. From the 
character of their teeth it is evident that they fed upon 
decayed sea-weed, and on such soft animal substances 
as they found at the bottom of the water. The teeth 
are small and numerous, and set close together like a 
brush. The form of the body shows that the Amblyp- 
terus was incapable of rapid progression. The vertebral 
column is prolonged into the upper lobe of the tail, 
which is much longer than the lower lobe, and thus 
was ingeniously adapted to sustain the body in an in- 
clined position, with the head and mouth nearest to 
the bottom. 

Among existing cartilaginous fishes we find the same 
prolongation of the vertebral column into the caudal fin 
occurring as a distinctive characteristic of the sturgeon 
and the shark. The former is one of the scavengers 
of nature ; clearing the ocean and river waters of impu- 
rities with its soft, leather-like mouth, which was capable 
both of protusion and contraction, and feeding wholly 
on soft animal substances and putrid vegetable matter. 
Hence it has constant occasion to keep its body in the 
same inclined position as the fossil AmUyptent-s. 

The marshy river banks and stagnant forest pools of 
the Carboniferous period were inhabited by certain 
forms of animal life which foreshadowed the frog and 
lizard of our own times. Of these some were wholly 
aquatic in their habits, some were arboreal, and others 
amphibious. To the first belonged the Parabatrachus, 
or frog-like reptile ; to the second class, the Denclrer- 
peton, or tree-lizard; to the third, the Archceogosaurus, 
or ancient land-lizard. Professor Owen discovers in 
these early reptiles, with their vertebral column, gill- 
arches, and large throat-plates, a " linking and blending 
together" of the piscine and sauroid groups, in antici- 
pation, as it were, of those huge labyrinthodont reptiles 
of which we shall have occasion to speak hereafter. 
Thus we find each form distinct and perfect in itself, 
and admirably adapted for its specia] functions, but 

each presenting itself as the type of some higher and 
more advanced form, to make its appearance when the 
earth was duly fitted for its reception. 

In the accompanying illustration (Plate 1) our artist 
has endeavoured to realize a landscape of the Carbon- 
iferous period ; some such picture as would have been 
presented to the eye of man, had man then lived. It 
is thus that imagination, aided by scientific knowledge, 
is enabled to re-create the past; it is thus that the 
philosopher, like the poet, can " give to airy nothings a 
local habitation and a name;" can fill up the imperfect 
outline with glowing colours, and clothe a barren world 
with life and vigour. Geology supplies us with the 
foundation on which, as naturalists, we build up the 
wondrous structure. We know that to certain condi- 
tions of our globe belonged certain organisms, certain 
forms of animal life; that those forms and those organ- 
isms could only flourish while the earth preserved a 
certain temperature, and exhibited a certain charac- 
teristic vegetation. The view, then, which we set 
before the mind's eye may be ideal, but it is not ficti- 
tious; in its general features, if not in its particular 
details, it will be unquestionably correct. 

During the Carboniferous period a tropical heat must 
have prevailed over our world. There would be long 
days of burning sunshine, followed by glorious cloudless 
nights, "clad in the beauty of a thousand stars." There 
would be heavy dews, descending in the darkness, like 
pearly mists, to fertilize and refresh the thirsty soil. 
There would be torrents of appalling rains, accompanied 
by terrible electric discharges, forked lightnings, and 
the sound of rolling thunder. The globe at this epoch 
was probably one vast archipelago ; the waters every- 
where dimpling round the shores of ferny islands ; or 
if any larger tracts of land existed, we can fancy them 
intersected by broad rivers, whose banks were hung 
with luxuriant forests, and whose interior was occupied 
with far-spreading marshes. Under the shade of tell 
trees, and arborescent ferns taller than our tallest oaks, 
throve an infinite variety of aquatic plants, equiseta, 
and club-mosses ; and in every dell and hollow waved 
the fronds of the most gorgeous and magnificent ferns. 
Lilies gleamed among the dense rank grasses; rich, 
rare heaths adorned the open clowns with their delicate 
hues ; and many a pillar-like palm reared its crest of 
fan-shaped leaves in the warm glow of a cloudless sun. 
We are told of one strange plant, named the SpJieno- 
phyllum, which resembled an immense asparagus, 
twenty-five to thirty feet in height. Stigmaria and 
sigillaria attained to proportionally gigantic dimen- 
sions. All vegetation, terrestrial and marine, was on 
a colossal scale; we have nothing now to compare 
with it except the luxuriant and lofty growth of the j 
virgin forests of the Brazils. 

The general character of this vegetation will be j 
understood from the following tabular classification : 

Dr. Lindley. Brongniart. Natural Families. 

II. Cryptogamous amphio-^ ^ gea . weed 
I. Thallogens. < gens, or cellular cryp- > fa^ 
( togains. ) 

i Clnb-mosses, equi- 

I seta, ferns, Ivco- 

II. Acrogens. 2. Cryptogamous acrogens. ^ iepidoden . 

( dra. 


IlLGyinnogeus. |3- ^tjrlioa l .aniili.K> Conifers&cycadi 

i Composite, legn- 
(4. Dicotyledonous angio- J minosa?, unibel- 

IV. Exogens. 

V. Endogens. 5. Monocotyledons. 

) liferae, cruci- 
( feras, hea 
( rushes, grasse 

A recent writer has attempted to describe a carbon- 
iferous forest. The grass would be composed, he says 
of herbaceous ferns and mare's-tail a lacustrine vege- 
tation shaded by the boughs of lofty trees. Here 
would tower a huge lepidodendron, with naked leafless 
trunk, and there a sigillaria, with a stigmaria at their 
foot, stretching its long roots covered with reproductive 
spores into the muddy, reeking waters. Numerous 
sphenophyllums raise their graceful pyramidal-shaped 
masses, terminating in a bud not unlike the cabbage- 
palm. Ah 1 this rich, vegetable growth, under the 
influence of a hot sun and heavy rains, is constantly 
decomposing, and so gradually forming a rich, fertile 
humus or mould, to provide for the development of an 
entirely new generation of plants in a succeeding age. 

From their partial decomposition were also being 
produced vast stores of fuel for the future benefit of 
the coming Man. These great forests, these wide 
tracts of ferns and grasses, were the origin of coal. 
At first the submerged plants would be a light spongy 
mass, resembling very closely the peat-moss of our 
northern moors and marshes. While under water 
these underwent a partial decomposition a fermenta- 
tion, whose different chemical phases, we are told, 
cannot be exactly defined. It is certain, however, 
that this decomposition and fermentation of the peat- 
mosses of the primeval world was accompanied by the 
production of considerable quantities of carburetted 
hydrogen, either in a gaseous or a liquid form. Thence 
result the hydrocarbon with which all coal is impreg- 
nated, and the tar oils which have penetrated the 
bituminous schists. " This emission of bicarburetted 
hydrogen gas," says M. Figuier,* " would probably 
continue until after the peat-beds were buried beneath 
the strata eventually deposited upon them. The mere 
weight and pressure of the superincumbent mass, con- 
tinued at an increased ratio during successive ages, 
have given to the coal its characteristic density, and 
its state of aggregation." 

But though, owing to the wonderful luxuriance of 
vegetation then prevailing, the greater portion of our 
coal-beds seem to have been formed in the period we 
are now describing, we must remind the reader that 
they have also been found in other formations, as in 
the oolite, the wealden. and the tertiary. In truth, 
as Dr. Page has justly remarked, coal is the product of 
every period, because it is simply the mineralized result 
of vegetable accumulation, and that accumulation is 
due to immensity of time rather than to rapidity of 

The difference existing in the mineral characters of 
various kinds of coal is partly attributable to the 
amount of pressure, and partly to the greater or lesser 
heat given out by the central fires of the earth. The 
inferior beds are invariably drier and denser than the 
* Fignier : The World Before the Deluge. 

upper ones, or less bituminous, because "their mineral- 
ization, so to speak, has been completed under the 
influence of a higher temperature, and, at the same 
time, under a greater pressure." 

It may be of service to the reader if we here intro- 
duce an estimate of the 


Square Miles. 
North America (chiefly in the United States), . . 310,500 

Great Britain, 6,200 

France 1,550 

Rhenish Prussia and Saarbrtick. .... 1,550 

Belgium, ........ 775 

Bohemia, . V> 620 

Westphalia, 590 

Spain (in the Asturias) 310 

Russia, .... . .160 

Saxony, 66 

New Zealand, Polynesia, and East Indian Islands, Unknown. 

These considerations have led us to digress from 
our more immediate subject of the landscapes of the 
Carboniferous period, though indirectly connected with 
it, and, in fact, of essential service in illustrating their 
general characters. 

In the accompanying illustration some of the more 
remarkable species of animal life which inhabited the 
warm carboniferous ocean are represented. On the 
right a tribe of polypi sparkle with reflections of silvery 
lustre, the species nearest the margin being the Las- 
mocyathus, the Chcttetes. and the Phytopora. The 
mollusc which occupies the extremity of the elongated 
conical tube, resembling the sheath of a Turkish sabre, 
is an Aploceras. It seems to be the rudimentary 
form of an ammonite : coil this elongated shell around 
itself, like a coil of bell- wire, and you would have at 
once before you the ammonite or the Nautilus. Nearly 
in the centre, reposing on the ocean-bed, are a Belle- 
rophon hiulcus, a Nautilus Koninckii, and a Productus, 
the latter easily recognized by the numerous spines 
which surround its shell. 

Other polypi are spreading out their greedy tentacles 
on the left. The Chonetes rise to the surface, furnished 
with small spines. You may distinguish the Cyatho- 
phyllum by their straight cylindrical stems ; and some 
encrinites, or stone-lilies, winding round the trunk of a 
tree, or reposing their flexible stems upon the water. 
Among all this varied and characteristic life, immov- 
ably attached, for the most part, to the rocks on which 
it has first budded, move various fishes of the AnMyp- 
terus genus. 

The teeming waters ripple on the low shores of 
many a pleasant island, most of them covered only 
with a dwarf rank vegetation, but others with vast 
'orests of fern-trees and cycads, stigmaria and sigillaria, 
deficient in bud and bloom, but richly adorned with 
.ight, symmetrical, feathery fronds. " The trunks of a 
modern forest are rough and gnarled ; those of the 
Carboniferous period sprung up like the sculptured 
shafts of a mediaeval temple, graceful in proportion, 
and rich in ornament through the endless repetition of 
lutings, spirals, zigzags, lozenges, ovals, and other 
geometrical designs these designs being the persistent 
eaf-scars of a vegetation simpler in structure and more 
)rimitive in plau." 





The Permian period was not remarkable for the 
introduction of new forms of animal life. Its principal 
features were the swift decadence of the luxurious flora 
which had embellished our earth during the gradual 
formation of the coal measures, and the upheaval of 
lofty highlands, of hills, and steep banks, which con- 
tracted the broad river estuaries and wide-spreading 
lakes within more moderate limits. Dome-shaped 
eminences of porphyry and syenite were raised on the 
earth's surface. Vast columns of steam and vapour 
rose from the midst of the sea, and condensing in the 
cooler atmosphere, fell in heavy torrents of rain. The 
evaporation of water on so extensive a scale was accom- 
panied by an equally extensive 
disengagement of electricity, 
which illuminated the grey 
shadows of the world with 
incessant flashes of brilliant 
lightning, while over the boil- 
ing sea rolled peal upon peal 
of reverberating thunder. The 
Permian ocean, it is unques- 
tionable, overspread an im- 
mense area of the globe. It 
stretched from Ireland to the 
Ural mountains, and probably 
to Spitzbergen, while its nor- 
thern boundary would be 
defined (as geologists tell us) 
by the Carboniferous, Devon- 
ian, Silurian, and igneous 
regions of Scotland, Scandin- 
avia, and Northern Russia; 
its southern limits apparently 
extending far to the south of 
Europe. "The chain of the 
Vosges, stretching across 
Rhenish Bavaria, the Grand 
Duchy of Baden, as far as 
Saxony and Silesia, would be 
under water. They would 
, communicate with the ocean which covered all the mid- 
land ami western counties of England and part of Russia. 
In other regions of Europe the continent varied little 
since the Devonian and Carboniferous ages. In France 
the central plateau would form a great island, which 
extended towards the south, probably as far as the foot 
of the Pyrenees : another island would consist of the 
mass of Brittany. In Russia the continent would have 
extended itself considerably towards the east : finally, 
it is probable that at the end of the Carboniferous period 
the Belgian continent would stretch from the depart- 
ments of the Pas-de-Calais and Du Nord, in France, 
and would extend up to and beyond the Rhine." 

The Permian formation is usually divided by geolo- 
gists into three series of strata : 

The New Red Sandstone (the lowest) ; 

Magnesian Limestone, or Zechstein (next in order) ; 

Permian, or Sandstone of the Vosges (uppermost). 

The fossil remains of the new red sandstone, which 

attains a thickness of from 300 to 600 feet, and is found 
over great part of Germany, in the Vosges, and in 
England, are very few. 

The dark schist beds of the magnesian limestone, 
which both in England and Germany attains a thick- 
ness of about 450 feet, are remarkably rich in the 
memorials of peculiar genera of fishes. 

The Permian strata, which also occur in England, 
and in the government of Perm, in Russia (whence their 
name), on a very extensive scale, are characterized by 
scattered evidences of past organic life. 

The principal points to which the attention of the 
naturalist may here be directed are :- 

Certain forms of Sauroid fishes, as the Pulcwnisctis 
and Platysomus / 

Laliyrinthodon restored. One-twentieth natural size. 

The Lahyrinthodont reptiles ; 

The Bird-like and Reptilian footprints (Ichnites) on 
the new red sandstone ; and 

The first appearance of Mammalian life, under a 
marsupial form, in the Dromatherium. 

In the Palceoniscus, the Platysomus, and other fishes 
of the Permian period, we find the upper tail-fin much 
longer than the lower, the vertebral column being con- 
tinued in the upper caudal lobe, as in the Amblyptents 
of the coal measures, and the sturgeon and shark of 
existing seas. This arrangement Agassiz calls "hetero- 
cercal." These genera, in all probability, lived in the 
shore-waters, and never ventured far out into the wide 

The Labyrinthodon. Geologists were moved to 
wonder some years ago when they discovered the im- 
pressions of the foot of a strange animal in the new red 
sandstone impressions closely resembling the marks 
that would be made in soft clay by the outstretched 
fingers and thumb of the human hand. 



It was evident from their form that they were much 
too short for the feet of crocodiles, or any other known 
Saurians; and that they more probably belonged to 
some species of the Testudinata, or Tortoises. But the 
head, pelvis, and scapula of the animal being afterwards 
found, it was pronounced to be a huge air-brealhing 
reptile closely connected with the Batrachians, an order 
now represented among us by frogs, toads, and water- 
newts. In Japan, however, a gigantic species still 
exists, called the Sieboldtia; but if a giant compared 
with the croaking inhabitants of our English marshes, 
it was a dwarf contrasted with the new red sandstone 

Judging from the impressions of its hand-like feet, 
Dr. Kaup, one of their early discoverers, considered it 
to be a marsupial animal, and named it Cheirotlierium; 
but its Batrachian affinities have been determined by 
Professor Owen, who, in allusion to the complex struc- 
ture of its teeth, christened it the Labyrinthodtm. These 
teeth were situated both on the proper jaw-bones, and 
on the bone of the roof of the mouth called " vomer." 
The head was not naked, but defended by a bony 
cushion, and attached to the neck-bones by two joints. 
Its two fore feet were larger than its hind feet; the 
former seem to have been twelve inches long, the latter 
eight inches long by five inches wide. There were five 
toes, of which the first or great toe was bent inwards 
like a thumb. Each toe was armed with a nail. Its 
hind legs were much longer than its fore legs, in which 
respect it resembled the Batrachians ; but its head and 
teeth were more like those of a shark. Altogether it 
was an uncouth-looking animal, but must have been 
singularly agile in its movements, capable of astounding 
leaps, and endowed with peculiar voracity. 

The historian or the antiquary, says Dr. Buckland, 
commenting on these strange footprints on the sands 
of time, may have traversed the fields of ancient or of 
modern battles ; and may have pursued the line of march 
of triumphant conquerors, whose armies trampled down 
the most mighty kingdoms of the world. The winds 
and storms have utterly effaced the fugitive impressions 
of their devastating course. Not a trace remains of a 
single foot, or a single hoof, of all the countless millions 
of men and beasts whose "storm-march," resistless and 
unresting, spread desolation over the earth. But the 
reptiles that crawled upon the half-finished surface of 
our infant planet, while its plastic substances were still 
being moulded into shape and form by the divine hand, 
have left on record the eternal and indelible memo- 
rials of their existence. No pen of poet or historian 
has told of their creation or destruction ; their very 
bones are found no more, or only partially and rarely 
found, among the fossil treasures of the primeval earth. 
Thousands of years have passed away, and the world 
has undergone convulsion after convulsion, since the 
remote age when these footprints were first engraven on 
the yielding sand; yet there they are now, distinct and 
clear, exposed to our curious and wondering eyes, and 
stimulating our minds to dwell upon the wonders of an 
almost forgotten past. There they are now, stamped 
upon the rock, as legible as the recent track of man or 
animal in newly-fallen snow ; there they remain, as if 
in proof that thousands of years are but as a link in the 

grand chain of eternity: as if in mockery of the tran- 
sitory character of the heroes and heroic achievements 
of mankind. 

Ichnites. The consideration of these fossil foot- 
prints, or Ichnites, has become a distinct section of 
Palaeontology, to which the name of Ichnology has been 
given. Our knowledge of many extinct animals wholly 
depends on the more or less distinct traces of their pas- 
sage which have been discovered on the rocks which 
once formed the plastic sands or mud of the sea-shore 
or the river side. They are not numerous, however, 
in sandstone ; most generally they occur in rocks origin- 
ally deposited as mud, or in argillaceous beds lying 
between an upper and under sandstone layer. We 
may suppose, therefore, that anciently the bed of mud 
or clay formed an extensive level shore, exposed by the 
receding tide. Across this shore passed the primeval 
animals, and their footprints were immediately baked 
and hardened by the influence of a tropical sun. When 
the waters again came up, they would deposit a thin 
layer of sediment, which would be augmented by every 
successive flow of the tide, until the footprints were 
securely protected from any accident whatever. It is 
clear that this process would be most effectual in locali- 
ties only submerged at spring- tides ; and in this very 
manner, as Sir Charles Lyell tells us, the impressions 
of numerous wading-birds are preserved, at the present 
day, in the plastic mud which covers the flat shore of 
the Bay of Fundy, where the tide sometimes rises sixty 
and seventy feet. 

Another method of preserving the impressions would 
be independent of the solar influence, as where, on an 
ordinary muddy shore, during the ebb of the tide, the 
footprints were filled up with blown sand, and the 
waters, on their return, overspreading the level, deposited 
upon it a fresh stratum of silt. 

In one or other of these fashions, certain animals of 
the primeval world have been enabled to transmit to us 
these curious memorials of their existence ; and we can 
trace the sinuous wriggling progress of various species 
of Annelids, the crawling movements of huge Crustacea, 
the slow heavy track of immense Chekmians, the jerking 
motions of vast Labyrinthodonts, besides the various 
processions and retrocessions of other reptiles and ani- 
mals, engaged in their daily task of purification and 
destruction. Who can contemplate without emotions 
of awe, wonder, and admiration, this vivid testimony 
of the rocks to the plenitude of Creative Power ? Who 
can read these records of the ages without a sense of 
divine grandeur as compared with human impotence? 
The footprints endure in the muds and sands of a half- 
finished world, when Tadmor is a howling waste, and 
of all the mighty civilization of ancient Egypt only a 
few shattered pillars and ruined temples remain ! 

The Dromatherium. The earliest terrestrial Mam- 
malia as yet discovered are of the marsupial order; 
small pouched animals allied to the existing opossum. 
It was generally considered that these did not make 
their appearance on- our globe until the Oolitic period ; 
but American geologists believe that they have found 
the fossil remains of a species, to which they have given 
the name of Dromatherium sikestre, in the new red 
sandstones of North America. 



All the existing genera of the marsupial order, both 
herbivorous and carnivorous, are now peculiar to North 
and South America, and to New Holland, with the 
adjacent islands. The name Marsupialia is derived 
(as we shall hereafter more fully explain) from the 
presence of a large external marsupium, or pouch, 
attached to the abdomen, wherein the foetus is placed 
after a very brief period of uterine gestation, remaining 
suspended to the nipple by its mouth, until sufficiently 
matured to come forth to the external atmosphere. 

This order occupies an intermediate place between 
oviparous and viviparous animals. Hence it naturally 
formed a link between the Reptiles and the Mammals. 

It is interesting to observe, as Professor Owen re- 
marks, that the Marsupials present a very complete 
series, adapted to the assimilation of every form of 
organic matter ; and no doubt they possessed a suffi- 
ciently powerful instinctive precaution to preserve them- 
selves from extermination, when surrounded with 
enemies of no higher intellectual capacity than the 

The Permian period closes what may be called the 
Primary Epoch of our world, when it was appropriated 
chiefly to animals living in the waters, and, especially, 
to crustaceans and fishes. As we have seen, the forms 
of the Reptilia were few in number, and of the Mam- 
malia only one genus had appeared. We now arrive 
at the Secondary Epoch, which, before all things, was 
the epoch of reptile life. 

The Secondary Epoch is subdivided by geologists 
into three periods : 1. The Triassic ; 2. The Jurassic ; 
3. The Cretaceous. 


The Triassic period is so named because the rocks of 
which it is composed, and which are more extended in 
Germany than in England or France, were denomi- 
nated the trias or triple group by German writers. 
They form, in fact, three groups, which, in ascending 
order, are as follows : 




Sandstone and qnart- 
zose conglomerate. 

Ores bigarr^. 
Mnschelkalk or 

Bunter sandstein. 

Gypseous shales and 

Calcaire coqnilier. 
Marne irisee. 


Neic Red Sandstone. In this new phase of the 
revolutions of the globe, says a recent writer, the 
animated denizens of its surface differ greatly from 
those summoned into existence during the Primary 
Epoch. Those curious crustaceans, the Trilobites, 
have disappeared ; the Cephalopods and Brachiopods 
have dwindled in numbers; the ganoid and placoid 
fishes gradually decline, and finally become extinct. 
But the life of the Ammonites now begins, and attains 

at once to a surprising development. In like manner, 
while some genera of terrestrial animals have passed 
away, others now, for the first time, " live, move, and 
have their being." The huge Chelonians now surge 
through the seas, and bask in the sunshine on the 
borders of the great lakes. The saurian reptiles assume 
colossal proportions, preparing the way for those yet 
more gigantic Saurians which belong to the follow- 
ing period, and whose enormous skeletons and laidly 
aspect excite the awe and astonishment of all who gaze 
upon their marvellous remains. 

Few animal relics, however, are found in the Bunter 
sandstone, although it bears numerous traces of the 

The Muschelkalk is so named from the multitude of 
shells which it embodies, and of which, in truth, it 
consists; including vast numbers of Molluscs, twelve 
different genera of saurian reptiles, some Cheloniae, or 
turtles, and six new genera of cuirassed or armour- 
plated fishes. 

Let us pause, for a moment, to gain some conception 
of the molluscous varieties. 

The Brachiopods are still represented by Terebratula, 
Lingula, Spirifer; 

The Conchifcra, by Trigonia, Mya, Flngiostoma, 
Ostrea, Airicula; 

The Gasteropods, by Turbo, Tw-ritella, Buccinum, 
Natica, RosteUaria ; 

The Cephalopods, by Ceratites, Nautilus, Belemnite, 
Rhyncholite, Orthoceras. 

The Mytilus, or Mussel, which properly belongs to 
this sub-period, is the acephalous (or headless) Mol- 
lusc, with elongated triangular shell, of which many 
species inhabit our existing seas. Other acephalous 
Molluscs of the same time were the Lima, Myophonia, 
Posidonia, and Avicula. 

Among the Cephalopods we select the Belemnites 
as worthy of more particular notice. They differ from 
other fossil chambered shells in having their chambers 
inclosed within a cone-shaped fibrous sheath, resem- 
bling in form the point of an arrow, whence they derive 
their name. 

A Belemnite may be described as a compound inter- 
nal shell, consisting of three essential parts : 

First, a fibro-calcareous cone-shaped shell, termi- 
nating at its larger end in a hollow cone. 

Second, a conical thin horny sheath, or cup, com- 
mencing from the base of the hollow cone of the fibro- 
calcareous sheath, and rapidly enlarging as it extends 
outwards to a considerable distance. This cup-like 
sheath formed the anterior chamber of the Belemnite, 
and contained the ink bag and some other viscera. 

Third, a thin conical internal chambered shell, called 
the alveolus, placed within the hollow calcareous cone 
already described. 

This portion of the shell is closely allied in form and 
construction to the Nautilus and Orthoceratite. Thin 
transverse plates divide it into a series of narrow air- 
chambers, or areola, resembling a pile of watch-glasses, 
gradually diminishing towards the apex. Outwardly 
these plates are concave, inwardly convex ; and a con- 
tinuous siphuncle, or locomotor tube, runs through all 
of them. 


Every animal was provided, like the modern Sepia* 
with an ink-bag nearly a foot in length. Hence we 
may conclude that they had an internal shell ; the ink- 
bag being a defensive provision entirely confined to 
naked Cephalopods. 

From the weight of their internal shell we may sup- 
pose that they usually maintained a vertical position ; 

lleleimiite restored. 

and as their chambered portion was supplied with a 
locomotor tube, or siphuncle, like the Nautilus, they 
probably rose and sunk in the water with the utmost 

These fossils are popularly known as Arrow-heads, 
Thunderstones, and Fingerstones. The species are 
nearly 100 in number. The reader should remember 
that they are not the animals themselves, but the 
internal organisms of those animals ; naked cephalo- 
pods, which protected themselves by clouding the water 
with discharges of inky fluid, just as Homer's gods and 
goddesses, when threatened by any danger, surrounded 
themselves with an impenetrable cloud or mist. 

The numerous family of the Ammonites now demands 
our notice. Their essential parts, it will be seen, were 
so similar in principle to those of the Nautili shells, 
that we cannot doubt they answered a like purpose in 
the economy of the extinct species of cephalopodous 
molluscs from which these Ammonites have been 

They received their name from the resemblance of 
their beautiful shell to the ram's-horn decorations which 
symbolically enriched the front of the Temple of Jupi- 
ter Ammon, and the bas-reliefs and statues of the Pagan 
deity. Shells are all that remain of them. The living 
organism has long since disappeared. 

Like the Belemnite, and like the Nautilus, the Am- 
monite consisted of three essential parts- 
First, an external shell, usually of a fiat, disc-like 
form, having its surface strengthened and ornamented 
with ribs. 

Second, a series of internal air-chambers formed by 
transverse plates intersecting the inner portion of the 

Third, a siphuncle, siphon, or locomotor tube, which 
began at the bottom of the outer chamber, and per- 

* Professor Owen has demonstrated that the animal of which 
the Belemnites was the internal bone, was, in reality, a di- 
branchiate eight-armed cuttle-fish, like the modern genus Ony- 

forated the entire series of air-chambers to the inner- 
most extremity of the shell. 

The uses of the shell of the Ammonites an exter- 
nal, not internal shell, let it be remembered have 
been frequently discussed. They have been demon- 
strated by Dr. Buckland with a truth and clearness 

Ammonites restrains. 

unsurpassed by any later writer, and our description 
will closely follow his very graphic and interesting 

As the shell served the twofold office of affording pro- 
tection to the internal organism, and enabling it to float, 
it was necessary that it should be thin, or its weight 
would prevent it from rising to the surface. But it was 
not less necessary that it should be strong enough to 
resist the pressure of the mass of waters at the bottom, 
or in the mid-depths of the sea. Accordingly, we find 
that its Creator has admirably adapted it for its double 
function by so disposing its materials as to combine 
strength and firmness with lightness and buoyancy. 

Let it be noticed, in the first place, that the entire 
shell is one continued arch and no form, as any archi- 
tect will tell you, is better fitted to resist superincum- 
bent pressure is one continued arch, we say, coiled 
spirally around itself in such a manner, that the base 
of the outer whorls rests upon the corner of the inner 
whorls, and the keel or back is thus calculated to resist 
weight, on the same principle that the shell of a com- 
mon hen's egg will endure considerable force, if that 
force be applied in the direction of its longitudinal 

Let it be noticed, secondly, that, in addition to this 
general arch-like form, the shell is further strengthened 
by the insertion of ribs, or transverse arches, which 
give to many of the species their characteristic feature, 
and in all produce that peculiar beauty which, for every 
artist's eye, invariably distinguishes the symmetrical 
repetition of a series of spiral curves. 

From the disposition of these ribs over the surface 
of the external shell, mechanical advantages are obtained 



for increasing its strength, founded on a principle that 
we see everywhere practically Applied in works of 
human art and science the principle, namely, by which 
the strength and rigidity of a thin plate of metal are 
considerably enhanced by corrugating, or fluting, the 

A common pencil-case, if made of corrugated or 
fluted metal, is stronger than if the same quantity of 
metal were disposed in a simple tube. 

Similarly, culinary moulds of tin or copper are 
strengthened by arranging folds, or flutings, around 
their margin, or upon their convex surfaces. 

The application, now so general, of thin plates of 
corrugated iron or zinc to the purpose of building self- 
supporting roofs, in which the corrugations answer the 
purpose and supply the place of beams or rafters, is 
actually founded on the very same principle that 
strengthens the vaulted shells of the Ammonites. 

For in all these cases the ribs, or elevated portions, 
bestow upon the layers of shell or plates of metal all 
the extra strength which results from the convex form 
of an arch, without materially increasing the burthen ; 
while the intermediate depressed parts between these 
arches are at once suspended and supported by the 
tenacity and substantialness of the material. 

The general principle of dividing and subdividing the 
ribs, in order to multiply supports as the vault enlarges, 
is conducted nearly upon the same plan, and for the 
same purpose, as the divisions or subdivisions of the 
ribs beneath the groin work, in the flat vaulted roofs of 
the later Gothic architecture. 

But many species of Ammonites are further strength- 
ened by the elevation of parts of the ribs into little 
dome-shaped tubercles, or bosses, thus superadding the 
strength of a dome to that of the simple arch, at each 
point where these bosses are inserted. This contrivance 
has also been imitated by the Gothic architects, who 
have applied the bosses to the intersections of the ribs | 
in their highly ornamented roofs. 

Bearing in mind, then, all these extraordinary 
instances of a surpassing skill and foresight, may we 
not say, with Dr. Buckland, that we reverently recognize 
the exercise of discretion and economy in the midst of 
abundance; distributing internal supports but sparingly 
to parts which, from their external form, were already 
strong, and dispensing them abundantly beneath those 
parts only which without them would have been weak. 

" We find," says the eminent geologist we have 
referred to, " an infinity of variations in the form and 
sculpture of the external shell, and a not less beautiful 
variety in the methods of internal fortification, all 
adapted, with architectural advantage, to produce a 
combination of ornament and utility. The ribs also 
are variously multiplied, as the increasing space 
demands increased support ; and are variously adorned 
and armed with domes and bosses, wherever there is 
need of more than ordinary strength." 

The utility, of the transverse plates and air-chambers 
of the Ammonites will be readily comprehended. The 
former are intended to increase the strength of the 
external shell by multiplying the subjacent points of 
resistance to outward pressure. At no great depth the 
weight of the sea will force a cork into a bottle filled 

with air, or crush a hollow cylinder or sphere of thin 
copper. As the air-chambers of the Ammonites were 
subject to a similar burthen when at the bottom of the 
sea, they could only be preserved from destruction by 
some peculiar provision. 

The reader will now inquire, how or in what manner 
the little ocean-roamer ascended or descended in the 
deeps at will ? 

This valuable power was obtained by the agency of 
the siphuncle, or, as we would call it, locomotor tube, 
which, as in the case of the Nautilus, was virtually a 
pipe, ejecting or admitting the sea-water according as 
the animal wished to rise or sink. When it desired to 
retire to the depths it took on board, so to speak, the 
necessary quantity of sea-water; of which it duly 
relieved itself when it wished to ascend. 

The manner in which the shell of the Ammonite 
was adapted to the twofold purpose of acting as a float, 
and protecting the body of its inhabitant, displays the 
wisdom and power of the Creator no less signally than 
the structure of the elephant's trunk. As the animal 
increased in size, and advanced along the outer chamber 

of its shell, the spaces which it left behind were suc- 
cessively converted into air-chambers, thus increasing 
simultaneously the potency and efficiency of the float. 
This float, regulated by the siphuncle. and penetrating 
the entire series of the chambers, formed an hydraulic 
instrument of extraordinary delicacy. 

To sum up : 

To creatures that occasionally floated, a thick heavy 
shell would have been wholly inapplicable. On the 
other hand, a thin shell, inclosing air, would have been 
subject to a pressure that must have proved fatal to 
it. A series of provisions, therefore, was designed by 
the Creator to secure the necessary strength while 
preserving the necessary lightness. 

First, the shell was made up of a tube coiled round 
itself and externally convex. 

Secondly, it was fortified by a series of ribs and 
vaultings disposed in the form of arches and domes on 
the convex surface of this tube, and still further aug- 
menting its strength. 




And, thirdly, the transverse partitions which formed 
the air-chambers provided also a continuous succession 
of supports, extending their ramifications, with many 
mechanical advantages, beneath the weakest portions 
of the shell. 

The Ceratites, which were very abundant in the 
Triassic ocean, formed a genus closely allied to the 

In the Muschelkalk, the formation we are now 
considering, are found the teeth and skull of the Pla- 
codus gigas, a saurian reptile of peculiar character. 

Another reptile of great dimensions, which may be 
regarded as a kind of fore-shadowing, or antetype, of 
the huge Saurians of the Jurassic period, was a marine 
crocodile, named the Nothosaurus, 

To this period also belonged the Telerpeton, so called 
by Dr. Mantell, but referred by Professor Owen to a 
genus which he denominates Leptopleuron. Its charac- 
teristic is the slenderness of its ribs, of which there are 
four and twenty pairs, and which seem to have been 
attached by a simple head, as in the lizards. It was 
probably amphibious in its habits, though exhibiting its 
affinity to our existing land-lizards in the development 
of its limbs, the situation of its pelvis, and other general 

Among Triassic reptiles of a sauroid character we 
may also name the Phytosaurus, the Thecodontosaurus, 
the Hyperodapedon, and the crocodile-like Staganolepis. 

Among the Triassic Echinoderms may be mentioned 
the Encrinus moniliformis and Encrinus liliformis, the 
latter a wonderfully beautiful imitation of the lily, 
whose remains in some districts compose whole masses 
of rock, and illustrate the slow progress with which this 
zoophyte developed the limestone beds in the bright 
transparent Triassic seas. 

In the keuper formation of the Triassic there do 
not occur any new forms of organic life. Cephalo- 
pods, Ceratites and Ammonites, Gasteropods, Lamelli- 
branchs, Echinoderms, were singularly abundant ; the 
Labyrinthodonts crawled on the sandy shore ; and the 
great Saurians wallowed among the slime and sedge. 

The accompanying engraving (Plate 2) is an attempt 
to reproduce the characteristic scenery of the Muschel- 
kalk sub-period. This belongs to the Triassic, or New 
Red Sandstone period, but is a group of strata wholly 
wanting in England. German writers divide the 
Triassic (trias, or triple) into three groups, as follows, 
in descending order: Keuper, answering to the French 
Marne irisee, and our English "gypseous shales and 
sandstone ;" Muschelkalk, answering to the French 
Calcaire coquilier; and Bunter sandstone, answering 
to the French Ores bigarre, and our English " sand- 
stone and quartzose conglomerate." 

The Muschelkalk, it is necessary to explain, con- 
sists of beds of compact limestone, often greyish, 
sometimes black, alternating with marl and clay, and 
generally containing such numbers of shells that it 
has received from the Germans the name of shelly 
limestone (Muschelkalk). 

The seas of this sub-period included, not only hosts 
of molluscs, but twelve different genera of saurian 
reptiles, some turtles, and six new genera of cuirassed 
or armour-clad fishes. We have already indicated 

some of the more remarkable species the Ceratites, the 
Mytilus or mussel, the Lima lineata, the Sphcerodus, 
and the Pycnodus. The vegetation had also its dis- 
tinctive characters : large-leaved Haidingeras, not 
unlike our New Zealand araucarias, but more closely 
resembling the damara ; cone-pointed Voltzias, a 
genus of Cupressinacese, now extinct In his "Botanic 
Geography " M. Lecoq observes : 

"While the variegated sandstones and mottled clays 
were being slowly deposited in regular beds by the 
waters, magnificent ferns still exhibited their light 
and elegantly-carved leaves. Divers Protopteris and 
majestic Neuropteris mingled in vast forest-like masses, 
where also flourished the Crematopteris typica of 
Schimper, the Anomopteris Mougeotii of Brongniart, 
and the pretty Trichornanites nigrophyllum. The 
conifers of this epoch attain a very considerable devel- 
opment, and would form graceful forests of verdurous 
trees. Elegant monocotyledons, representing the forms 
now prevalent in tropical climes, seem to appear for 
the first time. The Tuccites Vogesiacus of Schimper 
constituted groups at once very extensive, and ranged 
in densest order. 

" A family, hitherto doubtful, shows itself under the 
elegant form of Nilssonia Hogardi. It is still recog- 
nizable in the Zamites Vogesiacus ; and the varied 
groups of the cycads, organized like conifers and beau- 
tiful as palms, now decorate the earth, which in these 
new types manifests its inexhaustible fecundity. 

"The most remarkable of the herbaceous plants 
which then composed the forest undergrowth, or luxuri- 
antly overspread its tepid marshes, is the ^Ethophyllum 
speciosum. In organization it approximates to the 
lycopods and Thyphacese, the ^Ethophyllum stipula?-e, 
and the curious Schizoneura paradoxa. Thus we can 
trace the commencement of the reign of the dicoty- 
ledonous plants, with naked seeds, which afterwards 
became so widely distributed. A few angiosperms, 
belonging principally to the families of the conifers 
and Cycadeaceae, were still represented in the vegeta- 
tion of this sub-period. The first, very abundant at 
the outset, associated themselves with the cellular 
cryptogams, which, though decreasing, were still 
numerous ; and, at a later date, with the Cycadeacea3, 
which present themselves but slowly, though in due 
time taking no unimportant share in the great work of 
harmonizing the vegetable kingdom." 

These details will enable the reader more easily to 
understand our ideal landscape. 

A violent but transient storm has convulsed the sea 
of the Muschelkalk, and its waters break on the shore 
in clouds of foam and spray. As they recede into the 
depths, we catch sight of numerous aquatic animals. 
These are the Encrinites, with their long flexible stems, 
like coils of rope ; some few My til i and Terebratulae. 
In search of prey the Nothosaurus has dragged his 
huge bulk to the beach, and on the same surf-beaten 
rock crawl several of his congeners, but of a smaller 
species. The sandy dome is crowned with a vigorous 
group of Haidingeras, whose large trunks, drooping 
branches, and inclined foliage remind us of our modern 
cedars. The elegant Voltzias enhance with their | 
beauty the charms of this striking vegetation. The 



reptiles which haunted the shadows of these primeval 
forests are represented by the Labyrinthodon, which 
descends towards the sea on the right, and whose curi- 
ous footprints have been preserved, imprinted in the 
indurated sand, down to our own days, as if designed 
to answer the interrogations of science by their strange 
memorials of a long-vanished age. 


We now come, in our survey of the animal life of 
the primeval world, to the Jurassic period, so named 
from the Jura mountains in France, which consist of 
the rocks deposited by the seas of this era. 

It is subdivided into two sub-periods : the Lias and 
the Oolite. 

Both in its fauna and its flora it displays " a very 
striking assemblage of characteristics : " many genera 
of animals belonging to the preceding formations have 
disappeared, and their places been filled up by new 
genera, comprising a very peculiarly organized group, 
which included not less than four thousand species. 

The Lias. This is the name given by English geo- 
log'sts to an argillaceous limestone, mixed with marl 
and clay, which forms the base or lower stratum of the 
Jurassic formation, and have a mean thickness of about 
three hundred feet. 

Herein the naturalist meets with zoophytes, molluscs, 
and fishes of a singular organization; but, above all, 
with reptiles of a size so extraordinary and a structure 
so marvellous, as to give the Liassic seas an interest and 
a character of their own. 

First let us examine the Plesiosaurus, which Cuvier 
pronounced the most monstrous animal that has yet been 
dug out of the ruins of a former world. 

We gather from its name ^rXjjff/os, "near," and 
ffxijeog, "lizard "that it was nearly allied by its organi- 
zation to the Saurians. But in appearance it seemed 
a compound of many animals ; it had a lizard's head, 
a crocodile's teeth, a neck of excessive length resem- 
bling a swan's, the ribs of a chameleon, a body and tail 
whose proportions were those of an ordinary quadruped, 
and, finally, the paddles of a whale. Such was the 
apparently grotesque and fantastic monster which roamed 
through the Liassic ocean, seeking what it might devour. 

The head of the Plesiosaums, says Figuier, in his 
popular history of "The World before the Deluge," 
presented a combination of the characters belonging to 
the ichthyosaurus, the crocodile, and the lizard. Its 
long neck consisted of a greater number of vertebrae 
than the neck of either the camel, the giraffe, or even 
the swan, which of all the feathered race has the longest 
neck in proportion to the bulk of its body. And in 
birds it is to be noted, that contrary to the structure of 
the Mammalia, where the vertebrae of the neck are never 
more or less than seven, their vertebrae increase in 
number as the neck increases in length. 

The body of the Plesiosaurus was rounded and 
cylindrical, like that of the Chelonia:, or great marine 
turtles. Some authors suppose it to have been invested 
in a carapace or scaly armour ; but of this there is no 
proof, and no traces of any such covering have been 
recognized with the fossil remains hitherto examined. 

In its breast, pelvis, and the bones of its anterior and 

posterior extremities, the Plesiosaurus possessed an 
apparatus which permitted it, like the Cetacea of our 
present seas, to sink in the water or ascend to the sur- 
face at pleasure. That they were air-breathing and 
cold-blooded animals is proved, as Professor Owen 
shows, by the position and conformation of the nasal 

Ichthyosaurus platydon. 

passages, as well as by the bony mechanism of the 
thoracic duct and abdominal cavity. 

Many points in the anatomical structure of this huge 
animal are particularly worthy of the naturalist's atten- 
tion. The vertebrae of its back were not arranged, as 
is the case with fishes, in hollow cones, but their surfaces 
were nearly flat, and thus the column had a firmness 
and solidity like that which exists in the back of terres- 
trial creatures. Such a contrivance was rendered neces- 
sary by its immense length and bulk. For the same 
purpose the articulating processes were locked into one 
another, just as the architect, in erecting a column, 


clamps together the massive stones as he rises stage 
by stage. Rapidity of motion was not essential for 
| the Plesiosaurus, whose colossal proportions rendered 
it formidable to nearly all then existing animals, and 
which, for offensive and defensive purposes, could trust 
to its size and strength. Its tail, therefore, was com- 
paratively short, and not used, like the tail of a fish, as 
an instrument of swift impulsion ; but rather as a steer- 
ing apparatus, by which it directed its course along the 
water, and its movements of ascent and descent. 

Rapidity of motion was, in truth, impossible for an 
animal with so elongated a neck, situated at such a dis- 
tance in front of the anterior paddles. 

The total number of vertebrae in the entire column 
was about ninety. 

If we now turn to the structure of its ribs, we shall 
see that they were admirably adapted to give it the 
power of compressing air within its lungs, and con- 
sequently of remaining for a lengthened time at the 
bottom of the water. 

They consisted of two parts, one vertebral and one 
ventral ; the ventral portions of one side uniting with 
those on the opposite by an intermediate transverse 
bone, in such wise that each pair of ribs girdled the 
huge body with an unbroken belt, made up of five 
parts. A close similarity of structure may be observed, 
among existing animals, in the chameleon, and in two 
species of iguana, the Lacerta marmorata, and Lacerta 

It has been conjectured, from the great size of the 
lungs of the Plesiosaurus, as shown by this conforma- 
tion of the ribs, and the varied intensity of its inspira- 
tions, that it possessed the power of changing at will the 
colour of its skin. We have no means of verifying this 
conjecture, but admit that such a provision would have 
been invaluable for an animal so heavy and unwieldy, 

" Like a wounded snake, drew its slow length along," 

as defending it by concealment from its most formid- 
able antagonist, the Ichthyosaurus. In any contest 
with the latter, its chances otherwise must have been 
very few : it could not cope with it in assault, owing to 
its diminutive head and long slender neck ; it could not 
escape from it by flight, owing to its limited powers of 

The Plesiosaurus being an air-breathing animal, 
would require to ascend to the surface frequently for 
respiring purposes. This was effected by the agency 
of an ingenious apparatus in the chest and pelvis, and 
in the bones of the arms and legs, which enabled it to 
ascend and descend in the " fluent tracts of ocean " like 
our modern Cetacea its legs being converted into long 
and very powerful paddles. 

If we compare these extremities with those of other 
vertebrated animals, we shall discern a perfectly regular 
series of "links and gradations," from the corresponding 
parts of the highest Mammals to their rudimentary forms 
in the fins of fishes. 

The fore paddle of the Plesiosaurus presents us, 
typically, with all the essential parts of the fore-leg of 
a quadruped, even of a human arm. First, the scapula, 
or shoulder-bone; then the humerus, or arm -bone; 

next, the radius and the ulna, which are succeeded by 
the bones of the carpus and metacarpus ; and these 
followed by five fingers, each composed of a continuous 
series of phalanges, or joints. Similar analogies to the 
leg and foot of the Mammalia may be detected in the 
posterior paddle : the pelvis and femur, or thigh-bone, 
are succeeded by tibia and fibula, which duly articulate 
with the bones of the 
tarsus and metatarsus, ft 
followed by the numerous 
phalanges of five long 

Founding his conclu- 
sions upon these inter- 
esting data, Professor 
Conybeare remarks : 
That the Plesiosaurus 
was aquatic is evident 
from the form of its pad- 
dles ; that it was marine, 
is almost equally clear 
from the remains with 
which it is universally 
associated; that it may 
have occasionally visited 
the shore, we infer from 
the resemblance of its 
extremities to those of 
the turtle. On land, 
however, its motion must 
have been singularly 
awkward; its long neck 
must have impeded its 
progress through the 
water; presenting a re- 
markable contrast to the 
organization which so 
admirably fitted the Ich- 
thyosaurus for cleaving 
the waves. 

May it not, therefore, 
be concluded since, in 
addition to these circum- 
stances, its respiration 
must have necessitated 
frequent supplies of fresh 
air that it swam upon, 
or near, the surface; 
arching back its long 
neck like the swan, and 
occasionally darting it 
down at the fish which 
Came within its reach ? Skeleton of Plesiosaums dulicho- 

At times, too, it may J^^' ^^ 
have lurked in the weedy 

shoals along the coast, where, -buried among the rank 
luxuriance of the aquatic plants, and raising its nostrils 
to a level with the surface from a considerable depth, it 
may have found a secure asylum from the attacks of its 
formidable enemies. The length and flexibility of its 
neck must to a great extent have counterbalanced the 
deficient strength of its jaws, and its incapacity for rapid 
motion on land or water, by the suddenness and direct- 



ness of the assault they enabled it to deliver against 
every animal fitted for its prey which was swept within 
the range of the destroyer. 

Thus, then, though Cuvier might characterize it as 
one of the most anomalous and monstrous productions 
of the ancient systems of creation, a close investigation 
reveals the fact that these apparent anomalies consist 
only in the diversified arrangement and varied proportion 
of parts, which, fundamentally, are the same as those 
occurring in the most harmoniously-formed creatures 
of the present world. There are no anomalies in the 
economy of Nature. The bee is not more ingeniously 
fitted for its peculiar functions in sipping the honied 
sweets of nectared flowers, and storing them up in its 
beautifully devised cells, than was the mighty Plesio- 
saurus, with its lizard's head, its serpentine neck, its 
chameleon ribs, and cetacean paddles, for the part it 
played in the shallow waters of the Liassic seas. 

Pursuing the analogies of construction, says Dr. 
Bnckland,* that connect the existing inhabitants of the 
earth with those extinct genera and species which pre- 
ceded the creation of our race, we find an unbroken 
chain of affinities pervading the entire series of organized 
beings, and connecting all past and present forms of 
animal existence by close and harmonious ties. Even 
our own bodies, and some of their most important 
organs, are brought into close and direct comparison 
with those of reptiles, which, at first sight, appear the 
most terrific birth of primeval creation ; and in the 
very hand and fingers with which the palaeontologist 
records their history, we recognize the type of the pad- 
dles of the Ichthyosaurus and Plesiosaurus. 

If we extend a similar comparison through the four 
great classes of vertebrated animals, we discover in each 
species a marvellously varied adaptation of analogous 
parts to the different circumstances and conditions under 
which it was destined to live, move, and have its being. 

Ascending from the lower orders, we trace a gradual 
advancement in structure and office, until we arrive at 
those whose functions are the loftiest and most com- 
prehensive. Thus, the fin of the fish developes into the 
paddle of the reptiles Plesiosaurus and Ichthyosaurus. 
The same organ is converted into the wing of the 
Pterodactyle, the bird, and the bat. It becomes the 
fore foot, or paw, of terrestrial quadrupeds, and attains 
its highest consummation in the arm and plastic hand 
of rational and inventive Man. 

Another reptile of remarkable dimensions belong- 
ing to the Oolitic period was the Ichthyosaurus. f 
As -in the modern Cetacea, its structure underwent 
such modifications as would adapt it for an aquatic 
life. If it possessed a lizard-like tail, it possessed 
also the body of a fish, and limbs developed into 
paddles. If its snout resembled that of a porpoise, 
its teeth were those of a crocodile ; and while it had 
the vertebrae of a fish, it had the head of a lizard and 
the sternum of an orniihorhynchus. At first sight 

* Notwithstanding the researches of modern geologists and 
palaeontologists, Dr. Duckland's admirable work remains a 
standard authority, and should be perused by every student who 
would trace in the past history of creation the ever-recurring 
evidence of divine wisdom, power, and goodness. 

f From , x tvt, a fish, uud raZoes, a lizard; i.e., "fish-lizard," 
or '"fish-reptile." 

such a combination seems deserving of the appellation 
"monstrous;" but our previous studies have prepared 
us to recognize that this combination was admirably 
designed for certain peculiar conditions. 

In its general outline the Ichthyosaurus must have 
borne a rough resemblance to the modern porpoise and 
grampus. It had four broad feet, or paddles, and 
terminated behind in a long powerful tail, which Pro- 
fessor Owen believes was placed vertically, because 
the vertebrae are compressed vertically, and also because 
it is frequently found disarticulated a short distance 
from its extremity, as if the weight of the upright tail 
had induced its fall on the commencement of the 
animal's decomposition. More than thirty species 
have been discovered, some of which must have 
exceeded thirty feet in length. Their principal points 
of difference are in the form of the head ; some pos- 
sessing short broad skulls, like the common crocodile, 
others, a long slender snout, like the gavial of the 

In the head of the Ichthyosaurus the most remark- 
able feature was the eye. which in magnitude exceeded 
that of any living animal, and in some specimens has 
been found to measure fourteen inches in diameter. From 
the quantity of light admitted by this prodigious lens, 
the Ichthyosaurus must have been gifted with extra- 
ordinary powers of vision. It was equally well adapted 
for use in air or water, and for quickly changing the 
focal distance when in pursuit of prey. On the front 
of the orbital cavity in which it was placed, a circular 
series of thirteen or more petrified thin bony plates 
were disposed around a central aperture in which was 
lodged the pupil ; the form and thickness of each plate 
closely resembling the scales of an artichoke. This 
circle had a telescopic effect, and enabled the Ichthyo- 
saurus to discover its prey at great or little distances. 
It does not occur in fishes, but is found in many birds, 
and the bony sclerotic of the great fish-lizard very 
nearly approached in form the bony circle in the eye 
of the golden eagle. 

The important advantage resulting from this curious 
optical apparatus was, that it strengthened the surface 
of the enormous eye-ball, so that it might resist the 
pressure of the deep water to which it roust frequently 
have been exposed. Further, it protected the all- 
important organ from injury by the ocean waves; to 
which injury an eye, sometimes larger than a man's 
head, must often have been subject, when the nose was 
brought to the surface for the necessary purpose of 
respiring air. The position of the nostrils, close to the 
anterior angle of the eye, rendered it impossible for the 
Icltthyosaurus to breathe without raising its eye to the 
surface of the water. 

Its jaws were composed of many thin plates, so dis- 
to combine strength with lightness and elas- 
ticity, in a greater degree than would have been effected 
by single bones, like those in the jaws of a mammal. 
An under jaw so slender and so elongated as that of 
the Ichthyosaurus, employed in seizing and retaining 
the large and powerful animals which formed its prey, 
would have been comparatively weak, and liable to 
frequent mishaps, if composed of a single bone. Each 
side of the lower jaw, therefore, was made up of six 


separate pieces, in the same way that several thin pieces 
of steel are set together in the springs of carnages. 

The reptile's short thick neck was continued back- 
wards, from behind the eyes, in a vertebral column of 
more than one hundred vertebrae. As it was adapted, 
like the whale, for rapid motion through the sea, its 
vertebrae did not possess the invariable solidity of those 
of the crocodile, but rather the structure and lightness 
of those of fishes. The section of these vertebrae 
presents two hollow cones, connected with the centre 
of the vertebrae by their summits only, so as to permit 
the utmost flexibility of movement. " Between these 
hollow vertebrae a soft and flexible intervertebral sub- 
stance, in the form of a double solid cone, is so placed 
that each hollow cone of bone plays on the cone of 
elastic substance contained within it, with a motion in 
every direction, thus forming a kind of universal joint, 
and giving to the entire column great strength and 
power of rapid flexion in the water. But as the 
inflections in the perpendicular direction are less 
necessary than in the lateral, they are limited by the 
overlapping, or contiguity of the spines. This mode 
of articulation gives mechanical advantage to animals 
like fishes, whose chief organ of progressive motion is 
the tail, and the weight of whose bodies, being always 
suspended in water, creates little or no pressure on 
the edges, by which alone the vertebrae touch each 

The ribs were slender, mo?t of them bifurcated at 
the top, and extended along the entire length of the 
vertebral column, from the head to the pelvis. 

As the Ichthyosaurus was a massive animal, it 
required the means of facile descent and ascent in the 
water. This was provided by the construction of its 
anterior paddles, which were half as large again as the 
posterior, and by the no less extraordinary combina- 
tion of bones that formed the sternal arch, or that part 
of the chest on which these paddles rested. 

It has been remarked as a curious fact that this 
structure is found repeated in the ornithorhynchus of 
New Holland, an animal presenting the anomalous 
combination of a furred, duck-billed quadruped, with 
four webbed feet, suckling its young, and most pro- 
bably ovoviviparous, which dives to the bottom in 
quest of food, and returns to the surface to breathe the 
air. In this living animal the Divine Maker appears 
to have repeated the organic contrivances which He 
had originally designed for the Ichthyosaurus! 

To enable the animal to move in the water, both its 
anterior and posterior extremities were converted into 
fins and paddles, which must have much resembled 
externally the undivided paddle of a porpoise or 
whale. Internally the difference was considerable. 
The phalanges of the fingers were made up of ninety 
to one hundred polygonal bones. A specimen of the 
posterior fin of the Ichthyosaurus commwiis. discovered 
at Barrow-on-Soar, in Leicestershire, in 1840, exhibited 
on its posterior margin the remains of cartilaginous 
rays, which bifurcated towards the edge, like those in 
the fins of a fish. It had previously been supposed, 
remarks Professor Owen, that the locomotive organs j 
were enveloped, while living, in a smooth integument, I 
like that of the turtle and porpoise, which has no other I 

support than is afforded by the bones and ligaments 
within ; but it now appears that the fin was much 
larger, expanding far beyond the osseous framework, 
and deviating widely in its fish-like rays from the 
ordinary reptilian type. It is the opinion of our great 
comparative anatomist that these stiff-necked Saurians 
were furnished, in addition to the anterior paddles, 
with a tail-fin, possessing no radiating bones, and purely 
tegumentary, which expanded vertically to assist them 
in turning, and not horizontally, as in the whale. 

The teeth of the Ichthyosaurus are conical, and 
resemble those of the crocodile, but are considerably 
more numerous, amounting in some individuals to a 
hundred and eighty. They vary in each species. Not 
inclosed in deep and separate sockets, like those of the 
crocodile, they bristle along one continuous furrow of 
the maxillary bone, where the rudiments of a separa- 
tion into distinct alveoli (or cavities) may be detected 
in slight ridges extending between the teeth, on the 
sides and bottom of the furrows. The contrivance by 
which the old teeth give place to new is analogous 
in the Ichthyosauri to that existing in the crocodiles. 
In both the young tooth begins its growth at the base 
of the old one, where, by pressure on the side, it causes 
first a partial absorption of the base, and, finally, a 
total removal of the body of the older tooth which it 
is intended to replace. 

From their predatory habits these huge reptiles of 
the secondary epoch were exposed to frequent loss of 
teeth ; but as we have seen, an abundant provision was 
made for their renewal. 

These details will suffice to convince our readers 
that they were animals potently armed either for 
attack or defence. Whether their skin was smooth 
like that of the whale, or covered with scales like that 
of the crocodile, we cannot absolutely determine ; but. 
it is probable that the former condition existed. 

Popularly speaking, we may say, with Bayle, that 
the Ichthyosaurus was the whale of the Saurians, the 
Cetacean of the primeval seas. " It was, in fact, an 
animal exclusively marine, which on shore would rest 
motionless, like an inert mass : its whale-like paddles 
and fish-like vertebrae, the length of the tail, and other 
parts of the structure, prove that its habits were aquatic, 
while the remains of fishes and reptiles (discovered in 
its intestines), and the form of its teeth, show that it 
was carnivorous. Like the whale, also, the Ichthyo- 
saurus breathed atmospheric air ; so that it was under 
the necessity of coming frequently to the surface of the 
water, like that inhabitant of the deep." We can even 
believe, with Bayle, that it was provided, like the 
whale, with vents, or blowers, through which it ejected, 
in columns into the air, the water it had swallowed. 

The Liassic formations which occur in Dorsetshire, 
in the vicinity of Lyme Regis, have long been famous 
among geologists for the fossil treasures which they 
have yielded to the persevering jnquirer. Their 
quarries form the cemetery of the Ichthyosauri, 
the sepulchre which has long entombed those strange 
creations of the ancient seas. It was in 1811 that 
Mary Anning, a young peasant woman who gained a pre- 
carious livelihood by collecting fossils, first discovered 
the Ichthyosaurian skeleton. She hired workmen 


to excavate the immense block of Lias wherein it lay 
embedded, having endured the changes of unnum- 
bered years, and slept the stony sleep of ages. Thus 
was the first of these colossal reptiles exposed to the 
wondering gaze of science ; a reptile some thirty feet 
long, with jaws nearly two yards in length, and huge 
saucer-like eyes ; eyes which have since been found so 
perfect, that the petrified lenses have been disengaged, 
and employed PS magnifiers. 

In the same strata have been found the half-digested 
remains of the prey of these voracious creatures, and 
more, their faecal debris, or to use the scientific term, 
their Coproliies, or petrified fseca, from which we are 
able to determine their intestinal conformation, and the 
character of their usual food. 

On the shore at Lyme Regis these coprolites are so 
abundant that they lie in some parts of the Lias scat- 
tered over the ground like potatoes. In the Lias of 
the Severn estuary they are yet more abundant, being 
disposed in strata of many miles in extent, and mixed 
so plentifully with teeth and rolled fragments of the 
bones of reptiles and fishes, as to prove beyond question 
that this region, having been the bottom of an ancient 
sea, was for a long period the cloaca maxima the 
grand receptacle of the bones and faecal remains of 
its inhabitants. 

In variety of size, and in external form, the copro- 
lites resemble oblong pebbles or kidney potatoes. 
For the most part they vary from two to four inches 
in length, and from one to two inches in diameter. 
Some few are of much larger dimensions, and bear 
a due proportion to the gigantic calibre of the largest 
Ichthyosaurians ; others are small, and bear a similar 
ratio to the more infantine members of the same 
species, and to the smaller fishes. Some are flat and 
amorphous, as if the substance had been ejected in a 
semi-fluid condition ; not a few have been flattened by 
the pressure of the superjaceut slate. Their usual 
colour is an ashen grey, but sometimes they are 
grey and black, and sometimes wholly black. Their 
material, so to speak, is of a compact earthy texture, 
resembling indurated clay, and marked by a con- 
choidal and glossy fracture. 

Of the coprolites at Lyme Regis the structure is 
usually tortuous, but the number of coils is very irre- 
gular. In most cases there are three coils, in no 
instance do they exceed six; the variations probably 
depending on the various species of animals from which 
they are derived. 

The section of one of these faecal balls exhibits the 
interior arranged in a folded plate, wrapped spirally 
round from the centre outwards, like the whorls of a 
turbinated shell. Their exterior also retains the corru- 
gations and minute impressions which, in a plastic 
condition, they received from the intestines of the 
living animals. 

Irregularly but abundantly scattered throughout 
these fossilized faeces are the scales, and occasionally 
the teeth and bones, of fishes, which seem to have 
passed undigested through the bodies of the Saurians ; 
just as the enamel of teeth, and sometimes fragments 
of bones, are found undigested both in the recent and 
fossil album grcccum of hyaenas. The bones are 

chiefly vertebrae of fishes and of small Ichthyosauri. 
Hence we must conclude that these monsters of the 
ancient deep, like many of their successors in our pre- 
sent seas, habitually devoured the smaller and weaker 
individuals of their own race. Probably they swal- 
lowed their victims whole, without dividing them; in 
which case the stomach and intestines must have 
formed a kind of voluminous pouch, filling entirely 
the abdominal cavity, and corresponding in size to the 
immense development of the teeth and jaws. 

From the contents of the coprolifes we may indi- 
rectly infer that in the conformation of their intestinal 
canal the Ichthyosauri resembled the voracious shark and 
dog-fish, which they also resembled in their destructive 
propensities and powers. In the intestines of these 
fishes we find existing an arrangement not unlike that 
of the interior of an Archimedean screw ; an arrange- 
ment most ingeniously adapted to increase the extent 
of internal surface for the absorption of nutriment from 
the food, during its passage through a coiled and con- 
tinuous spiral tube. 

There is also abundant evidence to show the very 
form of the minute vessels and folds of the mucous 
membrane which lined the intestine this evidence 
consisting of a series of vascular impressions and corru- 
gations on the surface of the coprolite, that could only 
have been communicated during its passage through 
the convolutions of the intestinal tube. 

Do we ask what was the utility of these curious 
provisions in the bowels of the extinct monsters of the 
ancient seas? A satisfactory reply is easily given. 
Owing to their insatiable voracity, it was needful the 
stomach should be both large and long, leaving but 
little space for the smaller viscera. These, therefore, 
were reduced, as we have seen, nearly to the state of 
a flattened tube, coiled like a corkscrew around itself. 
While their bulk was thus materially diminished, the 
amount of absorbent surface remained almost the same 
as if they had been circularly disposed. 

Had a considerable expansion of intestines been 
superadded to the enormous stomach and lungs of 
the Ichthyosaurus, the consequent enlargement of the 
body would have diminished the power of progressive 
motion, to the serious detriment of an animal which 
depended on its swiftness for the capture of its prey. 

These considerations will teach us that even small 
and apparently mean and insignificant objects are 
frequently well deserving the minute attention of 
science. In the intestinal structure of the Ichthyo- 
saurians we find an analogous system of organs to that 
which obtains in living animals, and are thus enabled 
to establish the continuity of the divine work, to trace 
the links of an unbroken chain from the earliest ages 
of creation down to the present time. The mind is 
carried back over the waste of years to the dawn of 
time, to the gradual formation of our planet, and 
its alow adaptation to the wants and necessities of 
man, its last and greatest inhabitant. '' When we 
discover," says an illustrious geologist, " in the body 
of an Ichthyosaurus the food which it has engulphed 
an instant before its death, when the intervals between 
its sides present themselves still filled with the remains 
of fiahes which it had swallowed some ten thousand 



years ago, or a time even twice as great, all these 
immense spaces vanish, time disappears, and we find 
ourselves, so to speak, thrown into immediate contact 
with events which took place in epochs immeasurably 
distant, as if we occupied ourselves with the affairs of 
the previous day." 

It has been justly said, by a recent writer, that there 
are no monsters in nature ; that in no animal organism, 
past or present, have the laws of being ever been posi- 
tively infringed; that the antediluvian animals were 
neither the mistakes nor the freaks of Providence ; but 
that in all the proofs of divine intention are indis- 
putably evident. To this conclusion the reader will 
have been led by our previous investigations. Yet he 

might almost be forgiven if, at his fin-t sight of a Ptero- 
dactyle, either in a woodcut, or in one of Mr. Water - 
house Hawkins' ingenious reproductions, he pronounced 
it a monstrous birth of creation, the realization of some 
wild and weird dream, a frightful and a perplexing 
anomaly ! In strangeness of construction, and hideous 
impressiveness of aspect, it assuredly surpasses all its 
Liassic contemporaries. Even the Megalichthys and the 
Plexiosaurus cannot compare with it in these respects. 
The Pterodactyle* Its fossil remains were first dis- 
covered in 1828, and the discovery induced Cuvier to 
withdraw the sentence he had pronounced upon the 
Ichthyosaurus, and award to the new-found ' the palm 
of monstrosity." 

Pterodactvlus crassirostris. 

Naturalists at the outset were greatly perplexed in 
deciding to what natural order it belonged. Some 
looked upon it as a bird, others as a species of bat, and 
others, more accurately, as a flying reptile. 

This discordance of opinion respecting a creature 
whose skeleton was found almost entire originated in 
the presence of characteristics apparently belonging to 
each of the three classes to which it was referred. 
Thus, in the form of its head and the length of its neck 
it resembled a bird ; in the shape and proportion of its 
wings it might fairly be likened to a bat ; while, again, 
its tail and body approximated to those of ordinary 
Mammalia. Add to these strangely diverse features a 
small skull, like a reptile's, and a beak armed with not 
less than sixty pointed teeth, and a combination of 
apparent anomalies is attained which only the genius 
of a Cuvier could reconcile. In the hands of the great 
French naturalist every obscurity was swept away ; 
every discord reduced to harmony; and the seeming 
monster of the ancient world converted into one of the 
most striking examples yet afforded by comparative 
* From !rrf5, a wing, and Saxrt/A.e/j, a finger. 

anatomy of the exquisite oneness that inspires and 
informs all nature, in its adaptation of the same parts 
of the animal frame to infinitely varied conditions of 

The Pterodactyle, then, belongs to an extinct genus 
of the order Saurians, in the class Reptiles ; a genus 
adapted by certain peculiarities of structure for motion 
in the air. That anterior extremity which, in the fore- 
leg of existing lizards and crocodiles, forms a terrestrial 
locomotive organ, was, in the Pterodactyle, converted 
into a memjraniferous wing; while other parts of the 
body underwent such modifications as adapted the entire 
animal machine for the functions of flight. 

Of all the creatures whose existence Geology has 
revealed to us, says Cuvier,* the Pterodactyle is incon- 
testably the most extraordinary, and that which, if we 
saw it alive, would appear to us the most opposed to the 
present animal creation. 

* " Ce sont incontestablement de tous les etres dont ce livre 
nous revele Fancienne existence, les plus extraordinaires, et cenx 
qui, si on le.s voyait vivans, panitroient les plus etrangers a toute 
la nature actueile." Cuvier, Ossemens Fossiles, vol. ii. 379. 



In external form it might generally be compared to 
our modern bats and vampires. But most species had 
the nose elongated like the snout of a crocodile, and 
armed with conical teeth. Their eyes were of enormous 
size, apparently to provide for their nocturnal wander- 
ings. From their wings projected fingers, terminated 
by long hooks, like the curved claw on the thumb of 
the bat; the whole enabling them to creep, or climb, 
or suspend themselves from the boughs of trees, with 
admirable facility. 

It is probable also that these strange " anomalies " 
possessed the power of swimming, with which so many 
reptiles are endowed, and which is now an attribute of 
the Vampire Bat (Pteropus pselaphon) of the Island of 

"Thus, like Milton's fiend, qualified for all services and 
all elements, the creature was a fit companion for the 
kindred reptiles that swarmed in the seas, or crawled on 
the shores of a turbulent planet : 

' The Fiend, 

O'er bog, or steep, through strait, rough, dense, or rare, 
With head, hands, wings, or feet, pursues his way, 
And swims, or sinks, or wades, or creeps, or flies.' * 

With flocks of such-like creatures flying in the air, and 
shoals of no less monstrous Ichthyosauri and Plesiosauri 
swarming in the ocean, and gigantic crocodiles and 
tortoises crawling on the shores of the primeval lakes 
and rivers, air, sea, and land must have been strangely 
tenanted in these early periods of our infant world." 

From its teeth to the end of its claws, however, in 
all its osteology, the creature, as Cuvier pointed out, 
presents the features of the Saurians ; nor may it be 
doubted that their characteristics existed in its integu- 
ments and softer parts, in its scales, its circulation, its 
generative organs. It was provided with the means of 
flight, it is true, but when stationary could have made 
but little use of its anterior extremities, even if it did 
not keep them always folded as birds fold their wings. 
It employed its small anterior fingers, as we have already 
hinted, in suspending itself from the branches of trees, 
but when at rest must generally have placed itself on 
its hind feet, like the birds again ; and like them it 
must have carried its neck half-erect and curved back- 
wards, so that its enormous head should not disturb 
its equilibrium. 

From the birds the Pterodactyle was separated by 
the form of its pelvis, the narrowness of its sides, the 
small number of its cervical vertebrae, and the long 
rows of teeth which armed its jaw. From the bats it 
was distinguished by the peculiar shape of its head 
and teeth. 

It was, then, a lizard-like reptile, provided with bat- 
like wings; the largest species not exceeding ten or 
twelve inches in length, while the smaller were about 
the size of the snipe. Its head was out of all propor- 
tion to the rest of the body. The vertebra of the neck 
were six or seven in number. The ribs were thin and 
thread-shaped, like those of lizards. Its extremities 
terminated in five fingers, the joints of the fifth being 
lengthened so as to become expansions of the mem- 
branous wing. 

* Milton, Paradise Lost, bk. ii. 1. 947. 

If we compare the foot of the Pterodactyle with that 
of the bat, we perceive that the latter, like most other 
mammals, has three joints in every toe, excepting the 
first, which has only two. These two, however, in the 
bat, are equal in length to the three bones of the other 
toes, so that the five claws of its foot range in one straight 
line, forming altogether the compound hook by which 
the animal suspends itself in its dusky retreats, with its 
head downwards, during its long periods of hybernation. 
By this contrivance the burthen of its body is equally 
divided between each of the ten toes. But owing to 
the unequal length of the toes of the Pterodactyle, the 
animal must have found it well nigh impossible to range 
its claws uniformly in line, like those of the bat, and as 
no single claw could have supported for any long time 
the entire weight of the body, we are forced to the con- 
clusion that thePterodactyles did notsuspend themselves 
after the manner of the flying Mammalia. From the 
size and form of the foot from the size and shape, too, 
of the leg and thigh we conclude that they had the 
power of standing firmly on the ground, where, with 
their wings folded, they possibly moved along after the 
manner of birds. They could also perch upon trees, 
and climb up the steep face of perpendicular cliffs, with 
their hind and fore feet conjointly, like bats and lizards. 

It is supposed by Cuvier that they fed on insects, 
and that their habits were nocturnal. We know that 
large insects existed at the same time, large fossil Libel- 
lulcE, or Dragon-flies, and many other species, having 
been found in the strata which have given up to our 
examination the remains of these flying reptiles. Many 
of the smaller existing lizards are insectivorous ; some 
are also carnivorous, and others omnivorous; but, ac- 
cording to Dr. Bucklaud, the head and teeth of two 
species of Pterodactyle are so much larger and stronger 
than is needful for the capture of insects, that we can 
scarcely come to any other conclusion than that they 
fed on fishes, darting upon them from the air, just as 
the solan goose or the sea-swallow catches its prey. 
The enormous size and strength of the head of the 
Pterodactylus crassirostris would not only have ren- 
dered it a formidable adversary to the piscine tribes, 
but also to the few small marsupial mammalia which 
flourished during the Liassic period. 

Thus, then, while all u the laws of existing organ- 
ization in the order of lizards" were strictly followed 
out and fulfilled in the Pterodactyles of the ancient 
world ; still as lizards designed to move in the regions 
of the atmosphere like birds and bats, they received, 
in each part of their wonderfully constructed frame, a 
complete adaptation to this novel condition. Here we 
devoutly recognize the same foresight and care of a 
common Creator, which we perceive also in the mar- 
vellous mechanism of our own bodies, and in that of 
the myriads of inferior creatures whose "lords and 
masters" we style ourselves ; a sufficient proof that the 
monstrous is nowhere an element of creation. 

To sum up: the Pterodactyle, as a recent writer 
remarks, cannot fail to remind us of the dragon which 
played so conspicuous a part in classical and mediaeval 
poesy, and figures in so many of the old legends of 
chivalry. It is an animal which might, indeed, respond 
to this fabulous type ; but we see the dragon greatly 



curtailed in the paltry climbing and leaping reptile 
which lived in the Jurassic period. Among existing 
animals only a single reptile has been found supplied 
with wings, or digital appendages analogous to the 
membraniferous wings of the bats, and bearing a faint 
resemblance to the Pterodactyle. This is called the 
Dragon, or Draconidce, a family of S'aurians, hereafter 
described, distinguished by the first six ribs, instead of 
circling the abdomen, extending in nearly a straight 
line, and sustaining a prolongation of skin which forms 
a kind of wing like that of the Pterodactyle. Without 
assistance from the four feet, this wing sustains the 
animal like a parachute, as it leaps from branch to 
branch ; but the creature has no power to beat the air 
with it as birds do during their aerial flights. 

Returning to our general survey of the animal life of 
the Lias, we notice that in its strata fully two hundred 
and forty-three genera, and four hundred and sixty- 
seven species of zoophytes and molluscs have been 
discovered. Among the former we may particularize 
Asterias lumbricalis and Palceocoma Fwstembergii as 
constituting a genus not unlike the Star-fishes (Radiatu) 
of existing seas. The Encrinites were replaced 
by other species of the same genus, the Astro- 
pecten, the Amphlura, and the Ophioderrna. 
Annelids, like the Serpula; barnacles, or Pol- 
lici'pes; bivalve crustaceans, such as the Cypris, 
Cypridea, and Estheria ; and the higher crus- 
tacea, Eryon, Megacheirus, and Glyphcea, 
were also abundant. The molluscan genera 
included the delicate polyzoans, or sea-mats, 
such as Cenopora and Diastopora ; the deep- 
sea brachiopods, Terebratula, Spirifera, and 
Discoria; and some species of the oyster 
(Ostrea), which now first made its appearance. 
The sea-shores were thronged with the gas- 
teropods, Trochus, Turbo, Pleurotomaria, and the like. 
Legions of belemnites and ammonites, also, swarmed 
in the warm waters of the Oolitic ocean. 

That ocean also contained a great number of the 
fishes called Ganoids ; that is to say, with hard glit- 
tering scales. One of the largest species was the Le- 
pidotus gigas. We frequently meet with the teeth of 
the Acrodus nobilis, popularly known by the name of 
" fossil leeches," but never with its entire skeleton. 
The same is the case with the Hybodus reticulatus. 
The bony spines forming the anterior part of the dorsal 
fin of this fish, had long attracted the curious attention 
of geologists before their true character was ascertained, 
and had received the distinguishing appellation of Ich- 
tlnjodorulites. By some naturalists they are conjectured 
to be the jaw of an animal ; by others, the weapons, 
offensive and defensive, of a genus resembling the living 
Silurus or Balistes; but Agassiz has satisfactorily de- 
monstrated that they were the bony spines of the fin. 
as in our modern genera of Astraceins and Chimceras, 
whore the fin's concave face is similarly armed. The 
spines were simply embedded in the flesh, and attached 
by strong muscles, serving, as in the Ckimcera, to 
raise or depress the fin ; their action resembling that 
of a movable mast lowering backward. 

But we must not omit a few details in reference 
to the gigantic land Saurians of the Oolitic era the 

Megalosaurus, Hylreosaurus, and Iguunodon; or the 
insectivorous quadrupeds the Amphitherium, Pftas- 
colotherium, Stereognathus, Trionodon, and Plugiau- 
lax, which have been exhumed in the upper Oolitic 

The Megalosaurus,* or Great Lizard, was a terres- 
trial saurian, about forty feet in length. It seems to 
have combined many of the characters both of the 
iguana and the monitor ; the latter a lacertian reptile 
which flourishes in tropical India and on the banks of 
the Nile. That it was carnivorous in its habits is 
evident from the complicated structure and arrange- 
ment of its teeth, which may be described as a com- 
pound of the knife, the sabre, and the saw. 

" When first protruded above the gum, the apex of 
each tooth presented a double cutting edge of serrated 
enamel. In this stage its position and line of action 
were nearly vertical, and its form like that of the two- 
edged point of a sabre, cutting equally on each side. 
As the tooth advanced in growth, it became curved 
backwards, in the form of a pruning knife, and the edge 
of serrated enamel was continued downwards to the 

Jaw of the Megalosaurua. 

base of the inner and cutting side of the tooth ; whilst, 
on the outer side, a similar edge descended, but to a 
short distance from the point, and the convex portion 
of the tooth became blunt and thick, as the back of a 
knife is made thick, for the purpose of producing 
strength. The strength of the tooth was further 
increased by the expansion of its sides. Had the ser- 
rature continued along the whole of the blunt and 
convex portion of the tooth, it would, in this position, 
have possessed no useful cutting power ; it ceased pre- 
cisely at the point beyond which it could no longer be 
effective. In a tooth thus formed for cutting along its 
concave edgf, each movement of the jaw combined 
the power of the knife and saw ; whilst the apex, in 
making the first incision, acted like the two-edged point 
of a sabre. The backward curvature of the full-grown 
teeth enabled them to retain, like barbs, the prey which 
they had penetrated. In these adaptations we see 
contrivances which human ingenuity has also adopted 
in the preparation of various instruments of art." 

We have hitherto been treating of carnivorous rep- 
tiles ; but there were species of the same great family, 
in the Oolitic period, which assumed the character and 
office of Herbivora. Such was the Iguanodon, whose 
fossil remains were first discovered by Dr. Mantell in 
the Wealden fresh- water deposits of Tilgate Forest, 
* From jK^aXof, great, and aa.v^es, lizard. 



Sussex. From the similar construction of the teeth of 
this ancient genus with that of the teeth of the modern 
iguana, there can be no doubt of their near connection. 
But while the iguana rarely exceeds five feet in length, 
its congener of the Oolitic period must have been 
nearly five times as long. Its thigh-bone exceeded in 
bulk that of the largest elephant! Presenting a circum- 
ference of twenty-two inches in its smallest part, its 
entire length must have been between four and five 
feet. If we compare the proportions of this colossal 
bone with those of the animal's fossil teeth, we find that 
they bear to one another nearly the same ratio which 
the femur of the iguana bears to its similarly-con- 
structed and peculiar teeth. We thus obtain a stand- 
ard of comparison which justifies us in estimating the 
dimensions of the lyuanodon as follows* : 

Length from snout to extremity of the tail, . 70 feet. 

Length of tail, 6'2| " 

Circumference of body, 1-JJ; " 

The teeth of the Iguanodon were not lodged in dis- 
tinct sockets, like those of crocodiles, but fixed, like 
those of lizards, along the internal face of the dental 
bone, to which they adhered by one side of the bony 
substance of their root. 

As the reptile fed upon tough vegetable food, its 
teeth were admirably fitted for this purpose by their 
cutting edges, form of curvature, and points of enlarge- 
ment and contraction. They were each furnished with 
a sharp serrated edge, extending on either side down- 
wards to the broadest portion of the body of the tooth, 
and thus preserving its utility until worn down to the 
very stump. To compensate for the gradual destruc- 
tion of this serrated edge, a plate of thin enamel was 
placed on the front of the tooth. As the softer mate- 
rial of the tooth itself must have worn away more readily 
than this enamel, and most readily at the part remotest 
from it, an oblique section of the crown was constantly 
maintained with a keen-cutting front edge, not unlike 
(if the reader will permit the comparison) that of a pair 
of strong iron pincers, or nippers. 

The structure of the skeleton is remarkable. The 
head, it is evident, must have been produced into a 
short snout, supporting a nasal horn. The vertebral 
column in some respects might be compared to that of 
a fish, but was distinguished from it by its lofty mural 
arches. The sacrum, wholly unlike that of any other 
reptile, consisted of five anchylosed joints. The body 
did not creep upon the ground, but was raised above it 
by long and robust limbs ; each terminating in a three- 
toed foot, about twenty-one to twenty-four inches in 
height, and nine and-a-half to ten inches in breadth. 
The huge tridactyle impressions discovered in the argil- 
laceous Wealden beds, and long supposed to have been 
produced by some colossal bird, are considered by some 
geologists to be the footprints of the Iguanodon. Pro- 
fessor Huxley has recently sought to prove, and with 
considerable success, that they were produced by the 

Another large and singular Oolitic reptile, found in 

* Professor Owen, however, disputes these conclusions, and 
places the entire length of the lyuanodon at nut above twenty- 
eight feet. 

the Wealden strata of Kent and Sussex, has been named 
the Hylccosaurus, or Forest-lizard. From the frag- 
ments exhumed at different times, and in different 
localities, we gather that it was herbivorous in its 
habits; with a broad long body, terminating in a long, 
flexible, slender tail, and resting on short but solid 
limbs ; a tuberculated and scaly skin ; small, close-set 
teeth ; and a ridge, or crest, along the back, of thin 
angular, bony spines. This dermal fringe reminds the 
naturalist of the horny crest on the back of the iguana. 
They varied in height from five to seventeen inches, 
and in width from three to seven and-a-half inches at 
their base. 

This extraordinary lizard was probably about twenty- 
five feet long. Only one species has been discovered, 
which is known by the scientific appellation of llylcno- 
saurus Oweni. 

Contemporary with these strange reptilian forms were 
certain mammals of a peculiar type, as, for instance, 
the Amphitherium, which is supposed to be the most 
ancient representative of its order on the globe. Cuvier 
first determined, from the examination of the jaw of a 
fossil specimen, that it was a marsupial ; whence another 
French naturalist proposed to call it Thylacoihcrium, 
or Pouched Wild-beast, while Phascolutheriuin was 
also suggested as a suitable designation. Its present 
name, given by Blainville, has been adopted by Pro- 
fessor Owen, and, on his authority, by most English 
writers. From the structure of its teeth it would seem 
to have lived upon insects ; and remains of beetles occur 
in the Oolitic slate of the Stouesfield quarries, where it 
was first discovered. 

Two species of this interesting mammal have been 

The Phascolotherium is now acknowledged as a dis- 
tinct genus, whose fossil relics were also first found, like 
those of the Amphiiherium, in the Stonesfield quarries 
of Oxfordshire. It is only known by the jaw, pre- 
served in the British Museum, but was undoubtedly a 
marsupial animal, and in structure and habits closely 
analogous to the living marsupials of Australia. 

Before quitting the Oolitic strata we must refer to its 
remains of Fishes, Molluscs, and Zoophytes. 

Among the Fishes the predominant types were the 
Ganoids and Ophiopsis. Among the Ammonites we 
meet with Ammonites, Humphry sianus, A. lullatns, 
A. Brongniartii, Nautilus, lineatus, and many other 
representatives of the Cephalopods. Tercbrotulce still 
flourished, and among Gasteropods the Pleurotomaria 
conoided was remarkable for the elegance of its shape 
and the variety of its markings. Among the Acephala 
were the Ostrea Marshii and Lima j^roboscidea, and 
the species of molluscous Polyzoa were as numerous as 
they were beautiful. Echinoderms and Polyps swarmed 
in the warm genial seas ; most noticeable among the 
latter, the Eunomia radiata. 

This strange zoophyte is found in great masses many 
feet, nay, yards in circumference ; each mass containing 
myriads of the animal, and implying a long series of 
years to account for its formation. The Eunomia 
lived under the waters, but only at a comparatively 
small depth below their surface, and in this position 
accumulated large far-stretching banks and entire islets, 



which at one time rose above the rolling waves. These 
reefs, however, were principally constructed in the 
Jurassic period, and their number and extent are one 
of the characteristics of that age, or ccon. A similar 
phenomenon continues in our own time through the 
never-ceasing labours of the corallines, whose opera- 
tions, as shown in the atolls of the Pacific, may be 
destined one day to create a new continent. 

We pass now to the sub-period known as the Middle 
Oolitic. Then first appeared on the fluent earth cer- 
tain new types of hemipterous insects, and the Bees 
wandered from flower to flower in quest of honied trea- 
sures. Then, too, among the Lepidoptera, came the 
bright glancing wings of the Butterflies, and among the 
Neuroptera, the sparkling Dragon-flies shot through 
the warm air like sparks of light. The Pterodactyle 
still perched on its leafy boughs ; in the ocean-waters 
roamed the voracious Ichthyosaurus and Plesiosaurus; 
on the marshy shore wallowed the huge Megalosaurus ; 
the gigantic Chelonia haunted the river banks, and the 
woods and plains were tenanted by Iguanodons, Am- 
phitheria, and Phascolotheria. 

At this epoch, moreover, flourished a reptile allied 
to the marvellous and apparently anomalous Pterodac- 

Ramphorynchus restored. One quarter natural size. 

tyle. This was the Ramphorhynclius, distinguished 
from the latter by its long tail. In size it resembled 
the existing crow. Its powers of flight, however, were 
very limited ; it did not really fly, but making use of 
the natural parachute formed by the membrane which 
connected its fingers with its body, it flung itself from 
a height upon its prey. 

Of another family of reptiles, abundant in the Middle 
Oolite, we had a glimpse in the earlier age of the Great 
Oolite, the Teleosaums, which a German writer has de- 
scribed as " the great baron of the kingdom of Neptune, 
armed to the teeth, and clothed in an impenetrable 
panoply; the true pirate or freebooter of the primeval 

In its anatomical structure it bore a close resem- 
blance to the existing Gavial, or Gangetic crocodile, 
but certain modifications peculiarly adapted it for a 
marine life. Both surfaces of the vertebrae were slightly 
concave. Its hind legs were singularly large and strong, 
the anterior portion of its huge body tapered off with 
long slender jaws bristling with a formidable array of 
sharp teeth, slightly recurved, and admirably fitted for 

the capture of its fishy prey. The nasal aperture, 
instead of being oblique, as in the crocodile of the 
Ganges, opened vertically on the truncated end of the 
upper mandible. 

The Teleosaums was about thirty feet in length, of 
which the head consumed some three or four feet. Its 
colossal jaws were well protected beyond the ears, and 
yawned sometimes, with an opening of six feet, through 
which it could entomb, in the depths of its huge palate, 
animals of the size of an ox. Its body was protected 
by a cuirass, both on the back and belly. Twenty 
species of the Teleosaums have been described, and 
these exhibit so many distinctive characteristics that 
they have been arranged into six sub-genera. 

At the same time the seas teemed with fishes, with 
Crustaceans, Cirripedes, Molluscs, and Zoophytes. 
Passing from these to the Polyps, we are astonished at 
their abundance, and are inclined to regard them as 
peculiar, in the main, to the Oolitic age. They are 
discovered in vast aggregated masses at a considerable 
depth beneath the soil. Of old they played the same 
part in the economy of creation which in our own day 
is played by the coral animals. To a certain extent 
their mode of production must always remain a problem, 
but a flood of light has recently been thrown upon this 
interesting subject through the exertions of Charles 
Darwin. Describing what he believes to be a sea-pen 
(Virgularia Patagonica), he says : 

" The zoophyte consists of a thin, straight, fleshy 
stem, with alternate rows of polypi on each side, and 
surrounding an elastic stony axis. The stem at one 
extremity is truncate, but terminates at the ofher in a 
vermiform fleshy appendage. The stony axis which 
gives strength to the stem may become at this extremity 
a mere vessel, filled with granular matter. At low 
water hundreds of these zoophytes may be seen pro- 
jecting, with the truncated end upwards, a few inches 
above the surface of the muddy sand. When touched 
or pulled they suddenly draw themselves in, so as nearly 
or quite to disappear. By this action the highly elastic 
axis must be bent at the lower extremity, where it is 
naturally slightly curved ; and I imagine it is by their 
elasticity alone that the zoophyte is enabled to rise 
again from the mud. Each polypus, though closely 
united to its brethren, has a distinct mouth, body, and 
tentacula. Of these polypi in a large specimen there 
must be many thousands. Yet they act by one move- 
ment. They have also one central axis, connected 
with a system of obscure circulation." 

In the sub-period of the Upper Oolite flourished 
some marsupial mammals of the genus Spalacotherium. 
Among the huge griffins with sharp, trenchant teeth, 
was the Pcedlopleuron ; among the crocodiles, the 
Macrorhynchus ; among the chelonidse, the Emys and 
Platemys. And then appeared the first type of bird- 
life on the globe, the Archceopteryx, or Bird of Solen- 
hofen, as it is sometimes designated, from the locality 
where its fossil remains were discovered. 

Such were the principal forms of animal life which 
inhabited our world during the Liassic period. How 
strange, how impressive must the scene have appeared? 
If it could be reproduced before our eyes in all its 
actual vividness, in all its exuberant vigour, and with 


all its glowing hues, we should stand silent with awe 
and wonder ! Strange birds wandered over the sandy 
. shores or waded through the silt and mud of the estu- 
aries; huge reptiles lurked among the herbage in quest 
of prey; horrible vampire-like pterodactyles whirled 
and veered from tree to tree; gigantic crocodiles basked 
in the shallow waters ; and huge tortoises loitered in 
the recesses of lonely islands. Shark-like genera of 
fishes swarmed in the seas, defending themselves with 
their bristling fin-spines against the attacks of the ocean 
monsters, or crushing their crustacean victims between 
their corrugated teeth. But of these we have already 
spoken. What shall we say of the vegetation of the 
period ? The continents, then slowly rising above the 
waters, were enriched with a prodigality of verdure of 
which the earth in our own days nowhere presents an 
example or a counterpart. The atmospheric and cli- 
matic conditions then prevailing were highly favour- 
able to this luxuriance. The temperature was still of 
great elevation ; the atmosphere humid, with frequent 
rains and mists ; and when these passed away a glori- 
ous sun shone in a cloudless burning sky. The Voltzias 
of the Trias have disappeared, but the palms have 
grown more numerous, and convert the forest glades 
into still, shadowy avenues of graceful columns ; the 
gigantic calamites likewise remain ; and though the 
arborescent ferns have lost the enormous dimensions 
of their predecessors in the Carboniferous period, they 
preserve their fine and delicately chiselled leaves. 

An entire family, the Cycads, now make their first 
appearance, and develop themselves in three predo- 
minant genera the Zamites, the Pterophyllum, and 
the Nilssonia. The trunk of the Zamites, simple, and 
covered with the scar-like memorials of old foliage, 
supports a thick crown of leaves, more than six feet in 
length, which are disposed like plumes around a com- 
mon centre. 

The Pterophyllum is a tall, robust tree, clothed in 
large pinnated leaves from top to bottom. Their thin 
membranous leaves, trembling in the lightest breeze, 
are provided with truncated leaflets, traversed by fine 
nervures, not convergent, but all abutting on the ter- 
minal truncated edge. 

The Nilssonia somewhat resembles the Pterophyl- 
lum, but its leaves are thick and leathery in texture, 
with short leaflets contiguous, and, in part, attached 
to the base ; at the summit they are truncated, or, more 
correctly speaking, obtuse, with nervures arching or 
confluent towards that summit. 

But let us picture to ourselves the Liassic world, not 
with its forests of cycads and conifers, its masses of 
ferns and equiseta, its rolling rivers, or its tepid 
marshes; let us call up before our inner vision the 
billows of the seething ocean, with a dull, cloudy heaven 
bending over them, and the ichthyosaurus and the 
plesiosaurus contending for their prey. The latter 
arches its long neck to pounce suddenly on its mighty 
antagonist, which spouts from its blow-holes, like our 
modern whale, incessant jets of water, mucus, and 
vapour (Plate 3). * 

We may next permit ourselves a glance at the flora of 

* Such is the opinion of Bayle, hut we do not think it is held 
by the best living palaeontologists. 

this period. As in the Triassic age, terrestrial vegeta- 
tion mainly consisted of ferns, cycads, and conifers. 
The first was represented by the Pachypteris micro- 
phylla , the second by the Zamites Moreana ; among 
the conifers were conspicuous the Brachyphyllum 
Moreanum and Brachyphyllum majus. We find 
palms, lilies, and similar monocotyledonous plants 
largely on the increase; and dicotyledonous types 
exhibiting themselves in fragments of wood, leaves, 
and inflorescence. This change in the character of 
the terrestrial vegetation was necessitated by the 
change which had taken place in the conditions of 
our planet. The seas were more connected, and 
showed a tendency to spread southward, while the 
land assumed a more continental aspect, and the 
channels of the great rivers and the boundaries of 
inland lakes became more closely defined. 

Of the .marine flora our knowledge is imperfect. 
Aquatic plants, not unlike the pond-weeds of our own 
days, seem to have flourished abundantly. Among the 
cryptogams, equiseta (or mare's-tails) and lycopods (or 
club-mosses) still preserved their vitality. Tree-ferns, 
such as the Sphenopteris, Tseniopteris, and Peropteris, 
accumulated in warm humid places; while coni- 
ferous trees began to predominate in the forests. So 
nearly do these resemble, in many important respects, 
the cypresses, araucarias, screw-pines, yews, and 
thujas of New Zealand and other southern regions, 
that they have received botanical names indicative of 
these affinities cupressites, araucarites, pinites, tax- 
ites, and thujites. Just such a landscape as a modern 
naturalist shows us in the neighbourhood of Para (in 
Brazil),* we may imagine to have been frequent enough 
in the Middle Oolitic globe : " We found ourselves," 
he says, "in a moderately broad pathway, or alley, 
where the branches of the trees crossed overhead and 
produced a delightful shade. The woods were at first 
of recent growth, dense, and utterly impenetrable ; the 
ground, instead of being clothed with grass and shrubs 
as in the woods of Europe, was everywhere carpeted 
with Lycopodiums (club-mosses). Gradually the scene 
became changed. We descended slightly from an 
elevated, dry, and sandy area to a low and swampy one; 
a cool air breathed on our faces, and a mouldy smell 
of rotting vegetation greeted us. The trees were now 
taller, the underwood less dense, and we could obtain 
glimpses into the wilderness on all sides. The leafy 
crowns of the trees, scarcely two of which could be 
seen together of the same kind, were now far away 
above us, in another world, as it were. We could only 
see at times, where there was a break alaove, the tracery 
of the foliage against the clear blue sky. Sometimes 
the leaves were palmate, or of the shape of large out- 
stretched hands ; at others, finely cut or feathery, like 
the leaves of Mimosse. Below, the tree trunks were 
everywhere linked together by sipos ; the woody, flexi- 
ble stems of climbing and creeping trees, whose foliage 
is far away above, mingled with that of the smaller 
independent trees. Some were twisted in strands, 
like calles; others had thick stems contorted in every 
variety of shape, entwining snake-like round the tree 
trunks, or forming gigantic loops and coils among the 
* Bates, The Naturalist on the Amazons. 



larger branches ; others, again, were of zig-zag shape, 
or indented like the steps of a staircase, sweeping from 
the ground to a giddy height" 

Some such scene, allowing for differences of form 
and colour, and a more monotonous vegetation, we 
may fancy to have been presented by a Middle Oolitic 

Let us suppose that we have made our way through 
this dense growth of cyeads and conifers, palms and 
ferns, and are standing on the brink of a limestone cliff, 
looking out afar upon a wide expanse of sea. The 
animal life that meets our gaze, and which our artist 
has endeavoured to reproduce in the engraving (Plate 
4), greatly differs from any of the forms to which 
we are now accustomed. The strange, cuirassed, 
crocodile-like creature that has just emerged from the 
waves and advances towards us, carrying in its mouth 
a freshly captured victim, is the Teleosaurus, and its 
prey a Geot/ieutis, a kind of calarnary. The teleo- 
saurus, as already stated, carried a coat of mail both 
on back and belly, and of this we are made certain by 
the dead monster floating on its back in the shallow 
water, and so exposing its ventral cuirass. 

At the foot of the cliff, where it slopes towards the 
beach, stands a Ilylmosaurus a great land-saurian 
with bristling back, whose numbers, as yet, are very 

The tide is up, but if we waited until it receded we 
should find the shore covered with animal life nautilus 
and ammonite, turbo, nerinsea, and pleurotomaria; 
pecten, ostrea, and avicula; encriuites, and legions of 

Our artist has presented us in the accompanying 
illustration with an ideal landscape peculiar to the 
period we are now describing (Plate 5). 

Rightly to understand its principal features, we must 
digress from the immediate subject of this chapter, and 
glance, as we have previously done, at the prevailing 
forms of vegetable life. 

The terrestrial flora of the period consisted of ferns, 
cyeads, and conifers; zosterse flourished in the ponds 
and morasses. The zosterse are monocotyledonous 
plants of the family of the Naiadacese, which thrive in 
the sandy mud of maritime or littoral regions, and form, 
with their long, narrow, and ribbon-like leaves, vast 
prairies of emerald green. These masses of verdure 
. appear partly exposed at low tide, and provide nourish- 
ment and an asylum for numerous marine animals. 

At Portland, on the Dorsetshire coast, the character- 
istics of the Oolitic vegetation may be examined by the 
student with peculiar facility. Its quarries reveal in 
section the strata of the primeval world. On the well- 
known Portland stone rests a bed of limestone formed 
in lacustrine waters; and on this bed another, of a dark 
bluish substance, which, on examination, is found to be 
a well-preserved vegetable earth or humus, resembling 
our vegetable soil, from fifteen to eighteen inches thick, 
and abounding in the silicified remains of conifers and 
other plants, analogous to the Zamia and Cycas. Herein 
the trunks of great numbers of silicified trees and tropi- 
cal plants are found, standing erect, their roots struck 
deep into the soil. 

" The ruins of a forest upon the ruins of a sea," says 

Esquiros, " the trunks of these trees were petrified while 
still growing. The region now occupied by the narrow 
channel and its environs had been at first a sea, in 
whose bed the Oolitic deposits which now form the 
Portland stone accumulated: the bed of the sea gradu- 
ally rose and emerged from the waves. Upon the land 
thus rescued from the deep, plants began to grow; they 
now constitute with their ruins the soil of the dirt-bed. 
This soil, with its forest of trees, was afterwards plunged 
again into the waters not the bitter waters of the 
ocean, but in the fresh waters of a lake formed at the 
mouth of some great river." 

We may now turn to our ideal landscape. 

Amongthe tree-ferns we recognize the Sphenophyllum 
as still predominant in this vegetation, and investing it 
with an air of peculiar elegance. 

No palms are visible, but in their place spring the 
tall stems of the pandanas, the zamites, and the 
branching conifers. 

A coral islet rising above the azure waves, like a 
Polynesian atoll, reminds us of the importance now 
assumed by the labours of the coralline animals, which 
have ever played so conspicuous a part in the creation 
of our modern globe. 

The animals represented are the Crocodileinus, the 
Ramplwrynchus, and certain invertebrata, such as the 
Asteria, Comatula, Hemicidaris, Pteroceras. In the 
genial air flies the bird of Solenhofen, the Archseop- 
teryx* which has been reconstructed from the skele- 
ton; the head, however, has not been discovered. The 
footprints on the sand may be those of the rampho- 
rynchus, or, perhaps, of the pterodactyle (Plate 6). 

We now proceed to a consideration of the types of 
organic life peculiar to the Cretaceous period. 


The strata of the Cretaceous period, or the Chalk 
formations, form the upper strata of the Secondary 
series ; and while resting upon the Oolite, are them- 
selves the base of the Tertiary or more recent beds. 
They cover an extended area in Europe and the east 
of Asia, and have also been found in North and South 
America. In the south-east of England they occur 
in those rounded and grassy downs which are so char- 
acteristic a feature of Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Hamp- 
shire, Dorsetshire, and the Isle of Wight, and stretching 
along the coast in a line of lofty and glittering cliffs, 
to which England owes her ancient name of A llion. 
These beds are connected with similar beds in Den- 
mark, Germany, and the north of France; and it is 
surmised, from the masses of chalk and flint thrown 
upon the shores of the Shetland Isles after a storm, 
that the bed of the German Ocean is composed of the 
rocks of this formation. 

The strata are arranged by most geologists in the 
following order : 

Chalk with flints, 
Chalk without flints, . 
Chalk marl, 
Upper greensand, 

See page 25. 

Maximum Thick- 
ness in Feet. 
. 100 
. 500 
. 600 
. 100 
. 100 



Lower greensand, 

Wealden beds, . 

Maximum Thick- 
ness in Feet. 
. 150 
. 850 
. 1300 

The Maastricht beds consist of pisolitic limestones* 
in the north of France, and of loose yellowish sand- 
stones in Holland. 

The chalk with flints abounds in the south-east of 
England, the flints occurring in long parallel lines of 
remarkable regularity ; so that a section of the rock, 
viewed from a distance, looks as if it had been scored 
with the help of a ruler. The limestone is of a pure 
white, pulverulent quality; and as it is usually too soft 
for building purposes, is chiefly quarried for the lime- 
kilns. The layers of flints never exceed a few inches 
in thickness. They are often found in nodules at 
intervals of from two to four feet. Iron pyrites is 
frequently met with in radiated nodules, which readily 
decompose, and colour the rock with rusty hues, as if 
from a chalybeate spring. 

Chalk without flints differs from the upper chalk only 
in the absence of the flints. 

Chalk marl is the white chalk indurated by a gra- 
dual admixture of argillaceous matter, and transformed, 
as it were, into a " pale, buff-coloured marl," or argil- 
laceous limestone, generally of sufficient firmness and 
hardness for the builder's use. 

The upper greensand is composed of alternating 
layers of sands, clays, and limestones, frequently 
coloured green, as its name indicates, by the presence 
of a chloritic mineral. 

Gault is a dark tenacious clay used for brickmaking. 
Its occurrence between the strata of the chalk is a 
cause of the numerous landslips that occur on the 
southern coast and in the Isle of Wight The action 
of subterraneous springs reduces it to a soft consistent 
state, and it then oozes gradually through the chalk, 
whose upper strata are consequently precipitated for- 
ward. It is in this way the wild romantic region of 
the Undercliff, in the Isle of Wight, was formed. 

The lower greensand resembles the upper in every 

The Wealden, which in England occupies a district of 
Kent and Sussex long known as the Weald, is divided 
into two groups, the Wealden clay and the Hastings 
sand. It consists of a series of shales and sandstones, 
in which some highly interesting fossil remains have 
been discovered. 

From these brief remarks it will be seen that the 
characteristic feature of the Cretaceous formation is 
the chalk (crefa), whence it derives its name. This 
chalk is a white, soft, and friable or pulverulent sub- 
stance, almost wholly composed of limestone ; the only 
foreign matter which occurs in any abundance being 
the silex, which forms its nodules or regular layers of 
flint. The question now arises, Of what does this 
chalk or limestone consist ? Hitherto our remarks will 
have been of interest only to the geologist; but the 
question we have just proposed concerns the naturalist. 
For limestone consists of comminuted shells, such as 

* Pisolitic, from pisitm, a. pea, in reference to the size of the 
component parts. 

Foraminifera, mixed with the disintegrated prisms of 
larger shells, Piunse, Cytherinae, Diatomace8e,and Ento- 

It is a difficult problem, says a distinguished geolo- 
gist, to account for the source of the enormous masses 
of carbonate of lime that compose nearly one-eighth 
part of the superficial crust of the globe. Some have 
referred it entirely to the secretions of marine animals, 
and to such an origin we must obviously assign tho 
Cretaceous strata composed of comminuted shells and 
corallines ; but until it can be shown that these animals 
had the power of forming lime from other elements, we 
must suppose that they derived it from the sea, either 
directly or through the medium of plants. 

In either case it remains for us to discover the 
source whence the sea obtained, not only these supplies 
of carbonate of lime for its animal inhabitants, but also 
the still larger quantities of the same substance that 
have been precipitated in the form of calcareous strata. 
It is impossible to suppose that it resulted, like sands 
and clays, from the mechanical detritus of the granitic 
rocks, because the quantity of lime which they contain 
bears no proportion to its large amount among the 
derivative rocks. The only remaining hypothesis seems 
to be " that lime was continually introduced to lakes 
and seas by water that had percolated rocks through 
which calcareous earth was disseminated." 

The origin of these large quantities of silex which 
constitute the chert and Bint beds of stratified forma- 
tions, Dr. Buckland refers to the waters of hot springs, 
holding silicious earth in solution, and depositing it on 
exposure to reduced degrees of temperature and pres- 
sure, as silex is deposited by the hot waters of the 
Iceland geysers. 

From these particulars the reader will infer that the 
Cretaceous formation abounds in fossils. Vegetable 
remains, indeed, are seldom met with, except in the 
AVealden beds, but all the divisions of the animal 
kingdom, except the warm-blooded vertebrata, occur 
in profusion. The marine fauna presents a copious 
abundance of Sponges (Spongia, Siphonia, and the like) 
converted into flints; whence Dr. Bowerbank suggests 
that their " mission " in the primeval world was to 
cause the deposit of silicious matter from the ocean 
waters, just as the corals induce the consolidation of 
its calcareous constituents. Foraminifera (as the Tex- 
tttlaria, Bulima, and Dentalina) must have literally 
swarmed ; the greater portion of the Cretaceous strata, 
as we have already remarked, consisting of their exuviae. 
This period was, in fact, the noonday of foraminiferous 
life ; it existed in hundreds of species and genera, 
which, flourishing through their brief career, afterwards 
covered the ocean bed for leagues upon leagues with 
their calcareous cases. 

Corals were still met with, but not so p'entifully as 
in the Oolitic seas. Radiata increased in number and 
developed in beauty, and among the most characteristic 
fossils of the period are the Diadema, the Goniaster, 
the Galeriles, and other genera of Echini, or Sea- 
urchins. The exquisite lily-like forms of the Encrinites 
were now on the wane; but annelids, like the tortuous 
Vemiicularia and winding Serpula, teemed in the still 
genial waters. 


lu the Crustacea the principal existing genera would 
seem to have been the Cytheris, Cythere, and Banilia; 
among the Malacostraceans, those huge lobsters and 
sea-crabs known as the Pagurus, Notopocorystes, and 

A deservedly-popular writer shall complete for us 
the picture of Cretaceous life : 

It was now, he says, that the minute Polyzoa, or 
Sea-mats, wove their delicate tracery of network in a 
thousand forms (Flustra, Eschara, Diastopora, Actino- 
pora, Idmonea), spreading it over corals, dead shells, 
and crustaceans, as if their function had been to shroud 
in beauty the worthless and decaying wreck of the 
Cretaceous sea-shore. 

The higher Mollusca also appear in vast profusion 
many of the Oolitic genera having departed or being 
on the decline, while other forms peculiar to the chalk 
begin to make their appearance. The deep-sea Bra- 
chiopods are represented by species of Terebratula, 
Terebratella, and Rhynconella; the true Bivalves by 
Inoceramus, Lima, Ostrea, Pecten, Astarte, Cardium, 
Trigonia, Venus, and many others, whose specific 
forms are new and peculiar to the period ; while Gas- 
teropods, like Natica, Littorina, Cerithium, Rostellana, 
Solarium, Pleurotomaria, and others, mark a busy 
sea-shore of herbivorous and carnivorous activity. 

The Cephalopods, though numerically fewer than in 
the Lias and Oolite, now appear in curiously fantastic 
forms. The chambers of the shell-clad genera had 
previously been straight as an arrow, like the Orthoceras, 
or coiled on the same plane, like the Nautilus and 
Ammonite. But now some of them appear bent like 
a hook (Hamites), curved like a boat's prow (Scaphites), 
incurved like a crosier (Ancyloceras], twisted like a 
ram's horn (Crioceras), spun round a straight axis, 
and tapering like a spire or a pagoda (Turrilites), or in 
some other fanciful and simulative guise. Examining 
these elegant memorials of the past, we are reminded 
of the poet's exclamation : 

" See what a lovely shell, 
Small and pure as pearl, 
Lying close to my foot ; 
Frail, but a work divine 
Made so fairily well, 
With delicate spire and whorl, 
How exquisitely minute, 
A miracle of design ! 

The tiny cell is forlorn, 
Void of the little living will 
That made it stir on the shore. 
Did he stand at the diamond door 
Of his house in a rainbow frill? 
Did he push, when he was uncurl'd, 
A golden foot or a fairy horn 
Through his dim water-world ? " 

This abundance, this wonderful profusion of generic 
types, and that on the very eve of their decline, has 
originated numerous hypotheses. Those writers who 
consider the modification of form to depend upon 
physical conditions, suppose that certain obnoxious 
changes in the waters of deposit were the proximate 
causes of these fantastic and singular forms. " It is 
true," says Dr. Page, "that an influx of fresh water 
into a marine area, or vice versa, is often attended by 

curious changes in the indwelling Mollusca, and that 
new conditions of cultivation produce strange sports 
among the varieties of the gardener ; but the forms of 
these Cretaceous shells are too decisive and persistent 
to be otherwise explained than by supposing the intro- 
duction of new genera, in obedience to some great but 
unknown law of creation." 

The fishes of the chalk formation include many of 
the old Placoids and Ganoids (the Sharks, Rays, and 
Sauroids) of the Oolitic, but with new and peculiar 
genera of the same great divisions ; while for the first 
time the Ctenoids and Cycloids, which in our present 
seas are the prevailing orders of ichthyic life, make 
their appearance. 

Among the Placoids the dominant genera were 
Ptychodus, Hylodus, Acrodus, and Lamna; among 
the Ganoids Gyrodus, Pycnodus, and Macropoma ; 
among the Cycloids Osmeroides, Hypsodus, Sauro- 
cepkalus; among the Ctenoids Beryx and Berycopsis. 

We now turn to the Reptiles, and find a few species 
of the Plesiosaurus and Ichthyosaurus still dragging their 
huge bulk through the ocean waters. On the land an 
Iguanodon or two still crawls among the herbage, and 
from the sea-cliffs the ungainly Pterodactyles still 
essay their awkward, dropping flight. The Crocodiles, 
Lizards, and Turtles are represented by several genera ; 
but it is evident that, on the whole, the meridian of 
reptile life is past, and that if the colossal types of the 
Oolitic are not wholly extinct, they are rapidly dis- 
appearing. Few and faint are the traces as yet dis- 
covered in the chalk of birds and mammals, and in this 
direction there remains much valuable and important 
work to be accomplished by the future geologist and 

Our description of the series of Secondary strata 
may fitly conclude with Dr. Buckland's summary : 

The peculiar feature in the population of these 
series was, as he points out, the prevalence of numerous 
and gigantic forms of Saurian reptiles. Many of these 
were exclusively marine ; others amphibious ; others 
were terrestrial, ranging in savannahs and jungles, 
clothed with a tropical vegetation, or basking on the 
margins of estuaries, lakes, and rivers. Even the air 
was tenanted by flying lizards, under the dragon form 
of Pterodactyles. The earth was probably at that 
time too much covered with water, and those portions 
of land which had emerged above the surface were too 
frequently agitated by earthquakes, inundations, and 
atmospheric irregularities, to be extensively occupied by 
any higher order of quadrupeds than reptiles. 

It is worthy of notice that, in the Cretaceous period, 
the forms of vegetable life begin to approximate very 
closely to those which now obtain. The types may 
now be recognized of the maple, the alder, the walnut, 
the wych-elm, and other dicotyledons; and the palms 
include several species which differ but little from those 
now flourishing under tropical skies. 

" As we retire from the days of the primitive creation," 
says Lecoq, " and gradually approach those of our own 
era, the sediments seem to withdraw themselves from 
the polar regions, and we find them restricted to the 
temperate or equatorial zones. The great beds of sand 
I and limestone constituting the Cretaceous formation, 


announce a condition of things very different from any 
that has hitherto prevailed. No indications of central 
heat now mark the seasons; already zones of latitude 
show signs of their existence; already the biological 
relations of living beings are such as man can under- 
stand, and vegetation assumes a truly peculiar form." 

Prior to this epoch two classes of vegetation have 
predominated the cellular cryptogams at first; and 
secondly, the dicotyledonous gymnosperms. But now, 
in the transition age of vegetation, these two classes 
begin to fail, and a third, the dicotyledonous angio- 
sperms, " timidly take possession of the earth;" con- 
sisting, primarily, of a small number of species, and 
occupying only a limited portion of the soil. In later 
periods, as in our own times, we shall find their sup- 
remacy firmly established. 

Some arborescent ferns still maintain their position, 
and the graceful Protopteris Singeri and Protopteris 
Buvigneri unfurl their light fronds, like banners, to the 
breeze. Some Pecopteri, differing from the Wealden 
species, flourish in their company. Zamites, and cycads, 
and Zamiostrobi prove that the temperature of the Cre- 
taceous period was still almost tropical. New varieties 
of PalmacecB reveal themselves, and among others, the 
Flabellaria chamceropifolia is distinguished by the 
majestic diadem at its summit. 

The conifers have withstood the lapse of time and 
the influence of change more successfully than the 
cycadeae; then, as now, they were gathered together 
in vast forests, where Damarites, Cunninghamias, 
Araucarias, Eleoxylons, Abietites, and Pintles remind 
us of numerous forms still existing, but distributed all 
over the earth. 

From this epoch, moreover, date the Comptonius, a 
genus of the natural order Myricacece; the Almites 
Fresii, a member of the Betulacece; the Carpinties 
arenacetis, which is one of the Cupuliferce; the Salicites, 
now represented by the long, drooping, arborescent 
willows; the Aceritis cretacece, belonging to the Ace- 
lina; and the Juglandites elegans to the Juglanditce. 

But unquestionably the most interesting botanical 
event of this period is the advent of the Crednaria, 
with its triple- veined leaves, of which no less than 
eight species have been found and described, but 
whose place in the scientific systems of classification 
remains undetermined. The Creduarias, like the Sali- 
cites, were certainly trees, as were most of the species 
of this remote epoch. 

These details will enable the reader to understand 
the accompanying illustration (Plate 7), in which 
our artist has presented a landscape of the Cretaceous 
period. Through an opening in the dense wood we 
obtain glimpses of the radiant heavens beyond; and 
we can imagine the sunlight playing upon the quaint, 
vigorous foliage of the pillared trees, and tipping with 
golden hues the feathery fronds of the ferns. Tall 
palms in the distance wave in the passing wind their 
fan-shaped leaves, which ever and anon droop like the 
plumes of a knightly crest in the rush of battle. Rich 
grasses and exquisite mosses clothe the living sward, 
and the murmur of insects fills the air, their monotonous 
hum being occasionally interrupted by the crash of an 
aged tree in a distant forest glade, or the cry of some 

listless, lizard-like reptile, or the hoarse roar of ignanodon 
and megalosaurus, as they engage in furious combat. 
Leaving these huge monsters to contend for suprcmacj r , 
we wander far away into a still and shadowy avenue, 
where the walnut, the maple, and the alder rear their 
well-known trunks. We note with surprise a vegetation 
at once temperate and tropical, but feel that the tem- 
perature, if fresh, is also genial, and admirably adapted 
to the growth of the more vigorous forms of vegetable 
life. And so we bid adieu to the ideal solitudes of the 
Cretaceous forest. 


Also called Qie Cainozoic, or Recent Life Period. 

"With the Tertiary series we enter upon the consider- 
ation of an order of entirely new phenomena, presenting 
formations in which the remains of animal and vegetable 
life gradually approximate to the species of our own 
epoch. We are in the position of a traveller who, 
after long wandering through remote and previously 
unknown landscapes, finds himself rapidly approaching 
his own home, and everywhere recognizes the features 
of a familiar scenery. 

For the convenience of comparison the Cainozoic is 
usually subdivided into Eocene, Miocene, Pliocene, and 
Pleistocene ; words of Greek origin which respectively 
signify the earliest, less recent, more recent, and most 
recent life-stages. But the reader must remember that 
these distinctions are entirely arbitrary, and that no 
definite line of demarcation has been drawn between 
them by the hand of nature. There are not vast 
impassable gulfs separating the one period from the 
other. The animal and vegetable forms of the Eocene 
pass into the Miocene, and are even protracted into the 
Pliocene ; and no error could be more disastrous than 
to suppose that either of these divisions represents, as 
it were, a sole and independent world, with a fauna 
and a flora entirely its own. To return to a previous 
image, the palaeontologist, in tracing the growth and 
development of created life, is like a traveller who 
passes from the icy regions of the north into the glow- 
ing and luxuriant climes of the south. In so doing 
he traverses numerous countries, not separated by any 
conspicuous barrier or boundary, but gradually melting 
into one another, so that the transition is everywhere 
accomplished without any sudden or violent change. 

As we have said, the term Eocene implies the earliest 
stage, or dawn of the existing state of the animal crea- 
tion, and the strata of this series contains but a very 
small proportion of shells referrible to living species. 

As types of these series we shall take the London 
clay and the Calcaire grossier, or marls and gypsums 
of the Paris basin. For a detailed account of their 
nature and relations we are indebted, primarily, to the 
exhaustive labours of Cuvier and Brongniart. 

After describing how slowly the cabinets of Paris 
had been filled with innumerable relics of unknown 
animals, exhumed from the gypseous beds of Mont- 
martre, Cuvier graphically describes the manner in which 
he addressed himself to the task of making these " dry 
bones" live, of reconstructing from apparently shape- 
less fragments the complete and perfect skeletons. 


Having speedily recognized the existence of numer- 
I ous species, belonging to many distinct genera, " I at 
length found myself," he says, " in a kind of charnel- 
house, surrounded by the mutilated debris of hundreds 
of skeletons, of more than twenty separate orders, all 
piled around me in confused heaps : it was my task to 
restore them to their original position. At the voice 
of comparative anatomy every bone, and every frag- 
ment of a bone, fell into its appointed place. I cannot 
describe the pleasure I experienced in seeing, as I dis- 
covered one character, how all the consequences which 
I predicted from it were successively confirmed ; how 
the feet were found to correspond in detail with the 
facts ascertained from the teeth ; how the teeth were 
in harmony with those indicated beforehand by the 
feet ; how the bones of the legs and thighs, and every 
connecting portion of the extremities, were set together 
precisely as I had conjectured, before my conjectures 
were verified by the discovery of the parts entire : in 
short, how each species was, as it were, successfully 
reconstructed from a single one of its component 

The character of the animal life of the Eocene stage 
may be readily understood from a glance at the sub- 


Extinct Species of Extinct Genera. 

Paclnjderm.ata : 

Palseotherium, Anoplotherium, Chseropotamus, Adapis. 

Extinct Species belonging to Existing Genera. 

Carnivora : 

Canis (large wolf, differing from any existing species), fox. 
Coatis (Nasua), large coati, now inhabiting tbe tropical 

regions of America. 
Racoon (Procyon), North America, 
Genette (Viverra Genet/a of Linne, Genetta of Cuvier), now 

extending from Southern Europe to Cape of Good Hope. 
Marsupialia : 

Opossum, small (D'ulel phis), allied to the opossum of North 

and South America. 
Rodentia : 

Dormouse (^fl/oxus of Gmelin), two small species; squirrel 


Nine or ten species, referrible to the following genera: Buz- 
zard, owl, quail, woodcock, seaback, curlew, and pelican. 
Reptiles : 

Fresh-water tortoises, trionyx, emys, crocodile. 

Seven extinct species of extinct genera. 

A remarkable feature in this list is the numerical 
preponderance of Pachydermata among the earliest 
fossil Mammalia, beyond the proportion they bear 
among existing quadrupeds ; and it will be observed 
that they supply, from the relics of a former world, 
many intermediate forms wanting in the present distri- 
bution of that important order. "As the living genera 
of Pachydermata," remarks our authority, " are more 
widely separated from one another than those of any 
other order of Mammalia, it is important to fill these 
vacant intervals with the fossil genera of a former state 
of the earth; thus supplying links that appeared deficient 
in the grand continuous chain which connects all past 

and present forms of organic life as parts of one great 
system of creation." 

We proceed to a brief description of the principal 
pachydermatous species ; of those curious creatures, 
simulating every form tapir, llama, rhinoceros, sea- 
cow, hog, antelope, ass, and camel and apparently 
fulfilling the various functions now assigned to those 
later families, which roamed at will in the dense forest, 
and over the grassy plain, and along the reedy, swampy 
bank of rolling river and ample lake, during the early 
ages of the Cainozoic period. 

The Anoplotherium* This genus was established 
by Cuvier from bones discovered in the Eocene strata, 
near Paris; but its remains have also been found in 
the same strata in the Isle of Wight, and elsewhere. 
The animal's teeth are wholly unlike those of any other 

Anoplotherium commune. One-tweutiath natural size. 

pachyderm, past or present. They are arranged as in 
the human jaw, in a continuous series without intervals 
a circumstance distinguishing the Anoplotherium from 
all quadrupeds ; and consist of six incisors, two molars, 
two canines, eight pre -molars, and six molars in each 
jaw. The upper molars are quadrangular ; the lower 
marked with prominent ridges of enamel. It is sup- 
posed that the Anoplotherium was partly carnivorous 
in its food. It had no proboscis, nor was its snout 
considerably elongated. The feet, as in the Ruminan- 
tia, terminate in two toes, but have always separate 
metacarpal and metatarsal bones. Numerous species 
have been discovered, varying in size from that of a 
small ass to that of a guinea-pig ; whence it is evident 
that the smallest species must have been more diminu- 
tive than any known hoofed quadruped. As great a 
difference prevailed in shape and appearance, some 
having graceful forms and slender limbs, others being 
solidly and even inelegantly built. A few would seem 
to have been adapted for a purely aquatic life ; but the 
Anoplotherium proper was, in all probability, the type, 
in manners and habits, of the modern tapir. 

The recognized genera are : Dichodon, Dichobune, 
Microtherium, and Xiphodon. 

The Adapis, in form, resembled the hedgehog, but 
was three times its bulk. Dr. Buckland is of opinion 
that it formed a link connecting the Pachydermata with 
the insectivorous Carnivora. 

* From the Greek, privative; WAov, armour; and li^m 


The Chceropotamm is a genus of Pachyderms, 
founded by Cuvier on fossil remains associated in the 
Paris basin with those of the Anoplotherium and 
Palseotherium. Some remains have also been dis- 
covered at Winstead, near Ryde, in the Isle of Wight. 
This interesting animal seems to have been closely 
allied to the Peccaries which now inhabit the virgin 
forests of Equatorial America. According to Professor 
Owen, in the structure of some of their teeth, and the 
conformation of their lower jaw, they approximate 
decidedly to the ferine type. Alluding to the car- 
nivorous propensities of our common hog, he points out 
that the extinct Chseropotamus was still better adapted 
by its dentition for predaceous habits, and pronounces 
it " an interesting example of one of those links, 
completing the chain of affinities, which the revolu- 
tion of the earth's surface have interrupted, as it 

Paiseotheriuiu magnum restored. 

were, and for a time concealed from our view." 
He adds, that it is curious to notice that the living 
Kub-genus of the family to which the Chseropotamus 
is most nearly allied, is an inhabitant only of South 
America, where the llama and the tapir, the nearest 
living analogues of the anoplotherian and palseotherian 
associates of the Chseropotamus now exist, and which 
was formerly the native habitat of a genus, Macrau- 
chenia, connecting the llama with the palseothere. 

Dr. Buckland is of opinion that the Chaeropotamus, 
in some respects, resembled the Babiroussa (.? Babi- 
russa), a gregarious animal, found in the wooded 
islands of the Indian Archipelago. 

The Palceotherium, or ancient wild beast, in gene- 
ral appearance resembled the tapir, especially in having 
the snout terminated by a short proboscis. It was 
characterized by the following arrangement of teeth : 



Canines. Pre-molars. 

11 4-4 

11 4^4 



= 44. 

It had three toes on each foot, each terminated by a 
hoof. Like the tapir, it frequented the banks of rivers 
and large lakes, was nocturnal in its habits, and lived 
upon herbivorous food, such as fruits, buds, and the 
young shoots of trees. 

Eleven or twelve species of the Palseotherium have 
been discovered ; some as large as a rhinoceros, others 
varying from the size of a hog to that of a horse. 

The Lophiodon is another extinct genus of Pachy- 
derms, allied most nearly to the tapir and rhinoceros ; 
in some respects, to the hippopotamus ; and in others 
to the Palceotherium and Anoplotherium. Fifteen 
species of Lophiodon have been distinguished. 

The Hyracotherium is a pachydermatous genus, 
belonging to the division Perisodactyla, the animals 
of which are characterized by possessing an uneven 
number of toes. It was founded by Professor Owen 
on the remains of two species 
discovered in the Eocene strata. 
A third species was afterwards 
exhumed from the Roman 
cement bed of the London clay, 
near Harwich. This fossil con- 
sisted of an entire skull, of the 
right humerns and femur, the 
ft femur (nearly complete), 
the left tibia, three metatarsal 
bones, and fragments of the ver- 
tebrse, ribs, and pelvis. The 
head, which was slender and 
tapering, like that of the exist- 
ing tapir, measured five inches 
in length, and a little more 
than two inches in breadth. Its 
straight contour, and the con- 
formation of the nasal aperture, 
allied the animal to the horse 
and the hyrax. From the 
structure of its teeth, it is evi- 
dent that its habits were herbi- 
vorous, while the form and 
proportions of its limbs were 

midway, so to speak, between the hyrax and the tapir. 
The three species at present known are called 
respectively the Hyracotherium (or Pliolophus) vulpi- 
ceps, Hyracotherium leporinum, and Hyracotherium 
caniculus. This latter species was founded on several 
teeth belonging to a smaller animal than the others, 
discovered in the Eocene sand at Lynn in Suffolk. 
They were considered by Professor Owen to belong to 
a quadrumanous animal, which he named Macacus 
eoccenus, and described as " at once the first terrestrial 
mammal found in the London clay, and the first 
quadrumanous animal hitherto discovered in any 
country in tertiary strata so old as the Eocene period." 
On further examination, however, our great palaeon- 
tologist recognized that the two teeth belonged, not to 
a monkey, but to a third species of Hyracotherium. 

The Anthracothenum was so called because first 
discovered in the Tertiary coal, or anthracite, of Cadi- 
bona in Liguria. It presents seven species, some of 
them approximating in size and character to the hog, 
others more nearly approaching the hippopotamus. 


While the Eocene sub-period was thus prolific of 
pachydermatous forms, it nourished in its seas, and 
e 'tuaries, and rivers, a vast number of new types of 
life. Then first appeared the corresponding species of 
our existing Lyinneaj, Paludiuse, Planorbes, and other 
fresh-water shells. The terrestrial snails, Helix, Pupa, 
Clausilia, and the like, so rare in earlier epochs, now 
became abundant. The gasteropods and cephalopods 
increased in number and variety, and the ocean waters 
swarmed with busy legions of foraminiferous organisms, 
whose destiny it was to build up immense masses of 
nummulitic limestone, rivalling in extent and thickness 
the coral reefs of the present day. 

Of the shells of the cephalopodous molluscs belong- 
ing to the tertiary formations, D'Orbigny distinguished 
between six hundred and seven hundred species. The 
only genus which our limits will allow us to notice is 
the Nummulite, so named from the resemblance of the 
animal to a piece of money. In 
size it varied from that of a 
crown piece to microscopic 
minuteness. It occupies an 
important place in the history 
of fossil shells on account of the 
prodigious numbers in which it 
is found accumulated in the ter- 
tiary strata often piled upon 
one another in as close contact 
as the grains in a heap of corn. 
In this state the Nummulites 
form a considerable portion of 
the entire bulk of many lofty 
mountains; as in the tertiary 
limestones of Verona and Monte 
Bolen, and in secondary strata 
of the Cretaceous period in the 
Pyrenees, Alps, and Carpath- 
ians. Some of the Pyramids, 
adds Dr. Buckland, and the 
celebrated Sphinx, are com- 
posed of limestone loaded with 
these Nummulites.* 

It is impossible, says the same distinguished geolo- 
gist, to see such mountain masses of the remains of a 
single family of shells thus added to the solid materials 
of the globe, without recollecting that each individual 
shell once held an important place in the body of a 
living animal. And thus may we carry back our 
imagination to those remote and dim mysterious ages 
when the ocean waters, which then overflowed the 
European continent, teemed with swarms of these extinct 
molluscs, thick as the countless myriads of Berbe and 
Clio Borealis now living their little life in the polar seas. 

Like the Nautilus and Ammonite, the Nummulites 
were enabled to float by means of the air-chambers 
into which the shell was divided. The chambers 
were numerous, and minutely divided by transverse 
partitions ; they had no siphuncle. In form the shells 
were orbicular, convolute, without any trace of spire ex- 
ternally, and composed of contiguous whorls. Scarcely 
any of them exceed an inch in diameter. 

We now pass on to the second, or Miocene system of 
* Of the species Nummulina discoidalis. 

Tertiary deposits, containing an admixture of the extinct 
genera of lacustrine mammals, with the earliest forms of 
existing genera. Thus, in the marine formations of 
Tourainej the fossil remains of Lophiodon, Anoplo- 
therium, and Palajotherium have been discovered 
mingled with bones of the tapir, mastodon, horse, 
hippopotamus, and rhinoceros.* We shall see, how- 
ever, that new genera now first made their appearance 
on the earthj and that the Eocene mammals rapidly 
became extinct. " One or two of the generic forms," 
says Professor Owen, " most frequent in the older ter- 
tiary strata still lingered on the earth, but the rest of 
the Eocene Mammalia were superseded by new forms, 
some of them presenting characters intermediate be- 
tween those of Eocene and those of Pliocene strata. 

Among the Miocene types of life we give the fore- 
most place to the Dinotherium, as the largest of 
terrestrial mammalia. It holds an intermediate place 

between the tapir and the mastodon, and thus supplies 
another valuable extinct link in the great pachyder- 
matous family. 

The largest species of this genus, Dinotherium 
giganteum, is calculated by Cuvier to have attained 
the extraordinary length of eighteen feet. A skull 
disinterred at Epplesheim, in Hesse Darmstadt, in 
1836, measured four feet long by three feet broad. 

* Near Darmstadt, in Miocene strata, were found the follow- 
ing remains: 

Dinotherium, ... 2 Gigantic herbivorous animals, fifteen 

and eighteen feet in length. 
2 Lnrgerthan any living species. 
2 Allied to the tapir. 

Allied to mastodon. 

Allied to the horse. 


Large cats, some as big as a lion. 

Allied to bear ( Ursus cultrideits). 

Tapirus, . . 
Sus, .... 
Felis, . . . 
Machairodus, . 
Gulo (Glutton), 
Agnotherium, . 

1 A canine genus, as large as a lion. 


The most remarkable bone of the body yet found is 
the shoulder-blade, which, in form, more nearly resem- 
bles that of the mole than of any other animal, and 
seems to indicate a peculiar adaptation of the fore-leg 
to the purposes of digging an indication confirmed 
by the singular structure of the lower jaw. 

The form of the animal's molar teeth approximates 
to that of the molar teeth of the tapir; but a noticeable 
deviation from the character of the tapir, as well as 
of every other quadruped, consists in the presence of 
two enormous tusks, placed at the anterior extremity 
of the lower jaw, and curved downwards like the uppef 
tusks of the walrus. 

" It is mechanically impossible," says Dr. Buckland, 
" that a lower jaw, nearly four feet long, loaded with 
such heavy tusks at its extremity, could have been 
otherwise than cumbrous and inconvenient to a quad- 
ruped living on dry land. No such disadvantage could 
have attended this structure in a large animal destined 
to live in water ; and the aquatic habits of the family 
of tapirs, to which the Dinotherium was most nearly 
allied, render it probable that, like them, it was an 
inhabitant of fresh-water lakes and rivers. To an 
animal of such habits, the weight of the tusks sustained 
in water would have been no source of inconvenience; 
and if we suppose them to have been employed as 
instruments for raking and grubbing up by the roots 
large aquatic vegetables from the bottom, they would, 
under such service, combine the mechanical powers 
of the pickaxe with those of the horse-harrow of 
modern husbandry. The weight of the head, placed 
above these downward tusks, would add to their 
efficiency for the service here supposed, as the power 
of the harrow is increased by being loaded with 

"The tusks of the Dinotherium may also have been 
applied with mechanical advantage to hook on the head 
of the animal to the bank, with the nostrils sustained 
above the water, so as to breathe securely during sleep, 
whilst the body remained floating at perfect ease 
beneath the surface; the animal might thus repose, 
moored to the margin of a lake or river, without the 
slightest muscular exertion, the weight of the head and 
body tending to fix and keep .the tusks fast anchored 
in the substance of the bank; as the weight of the 
body of a sleeping bird keeps the claws clasped firmly 
around its perch. These tusks might have been furtheV 
used, like those in the upper jaw of the walrus, to assist 
in dragging the body out of the water; and also as 
formidable instruments of defence. 

" The structure of the scapula, already noticed, seems 
to show that the fore-leg was adapted to co-operate 
with the tusks and teeth in digging and separating large 
vegetables from the bottom. The great length attri- 
buted to the body would have been no way inconvenient 
to an animal living in the water, but attended with 
much mechanical disadvantage to so weighty a quad- 
ruped upon land. In all these characters of a gigantic, 
herbivorous, aquatic quadruped, we recognize adapta- 
tions to the lacustrine condition of the 'earth, during 
that portion of the tertiary periods to which the exist- 
ence of these seemingly anomalous creatures appears 
to have been limited." 

A genus of carnivorous Mammalia belonging to the 
Miocene period has been named the Machairodus, from 
(j,&ya.ipd, " a sword," and odov;, a " tooth;" in allusion 
to its distinguishing characters, its long, curved, com- 
pressed teeth, the crowns of which have finely serrated 
margins. The fossil lemains of this quadruped have 
been discovered in this country, and in several parts of 
Europe. In this island, says Professor Owen, anterior 
to the deposition of the drift, there was associated with 
the great extinct tiger, bear, and hysfiua of the caves, 
in the destructive task of controlling the numbers of the 
richly developed order of the herbivorous Mammalia, a 
feline animal, the Machairodus, as large as the tiger, 
and, to judge by its instruments of destruction, of even 
greater ferocity. When we read that, in certain districts 
of India, whole villages have been depopulated by the 
destructive incursions of a single feline species, the 
tiger, we can scarcely conceive it possible that man, in 
an early and rude condition of society, could have 
resisted the attacks of the more formidable tiger, bear, 
and machairodus of the cave epoch. And this consider- 
ation may lead us the more readily to accept the 
negative evidence of the absence of any well-authenti- 
cated human fossil remains, and to conclude that man 
did not exist on the earth which was simultaneously 
ravaged by these formidable Carnivora, aided in their 
mission of destruction by herds of savage hyaenas. 

The fossiliferous deposits of the Siwalik hills in India, 
which were so thoroughly explored by Dr. Falconer and 
Major Cautley, and which include remains of a giraffe, 
an ostrich, three large Carnivora, and other animals, 
also belong to the sub-period we are now considering. 
Among these animals, one of the most interesting seems 
to have been the Sivatherium, so named from Siva, an 
Indian deity, and 0r,pi6v, "a wild beast." It resembled 
a gigantic antelope iu the shape of its body, but its 
head must have borne some likeness to that of an elk : 
for it was short and thick, with 'two pairs of horns ; 
the front pair small, the hind pair much larger, and pro- 
bably palmated and set behind. The eyes were small, 
and placed on either side of the head. 

Huge must have been the lips iu proportion to its 
other physiognomical features; and from the large pro- 
jecting bone over the nasal aperture, it is evident that 
this strange creature was furnished with a proboscis, 
an organ not found in any existing species of the 
Ruminantia, and which it availed itself of, we may 
infer, to bring within its reach the young shoots and 
boughs of the loftier trees. 

In bulk the skull was scarcely inferior to that of an 
elephant; the neck was shorter than in the giraffe, 
much stronger, and admirably adapted to sustain the 
weight of the heavy head and its two pairs of massive 

There seems to have been two species of this extra- 
ordinary genus. The larger is called by Dr. Falconer 
Sivatherium giganteum; the smaller, Sivatherium Peri- 


We only notice further the Galecymis, the genus 
of fossil carnivorous Mammalia, also belonging to the 
middle Tertiaries, and founded for the reception of a 
singular fossil, discovered in a quarry at (Eningen. 
When first obtained, and presented to the British 



Museum, it was invested with a haul calcareous incrus- 
tation; so that a rude imperfect outline was only visible. 
This crust was carefully and skilfully removed by Dr. 
Mantell, whose labours developed the skeleton of an 
extinct fox-like animal ; differing from the existing 
fox in the greater robustness of its limbs, and the 
elongation of its feet. Its habits and general charac- 
teristics, however, wonld seem to have been identical. 

The seas at this period were inhabited by numerous 
marine Mammalia, such as whales, dolphins, seals, 
walruses, and the lamantins, manati, or sea-cows, whose 
existing species are chiefly found near the coasts and 
estuaries of the torrid zone. The presence of the 
lamantin may be accepted as an additional argument 
to that suggested by the tropical character of many 
other animals, even of the latest Tertiary strata, in 
favour of the opinion, that the climate of Europe main- 
tained a high, though probably a gradually decreasing 
temperature, eyen to the latest period of the Tertiary 

The accompanying illustration (Plate 8) presents 
us with an {deal landscape of the Miocene period ; but 
before we can fully realize it in ail its details, we must 
glance at the conditions of vegetable life which then 

The lover of Shelley will remember, in "Alastor," the 
poet's fine description of a tropical forest : 

" One vast mass 

Of mingling sliade, whose brawn magnificence 
A narrow vale embosoms. 

" More dark 

And dark the shades accumulate; the oak, 
Expanding its immense and knotty arms, 
Embraces the light beech,. The pyramid^ 
Of the tall cedar, overarching, frame 
Most solemn domes within ; and far belovy, 
Like clouds suspended in an emerald sky, 
The ash and the acacia floating hang, 
Tremulous and pale, like restless serpents, clothed 
In rainbow and in fire. The parasites, 
Starr'd with ten thousand blossoms, flow around 
The grey trunks; and, as gamesome infants' eyes, 
With gentle meanings and most innocent wiles, 
Fold their beams round the hearts of those that love, 
These twine their tendrils with the wedded houghs 
Uniting their close union ; the woven leaves 
Make network of the dark blue light of day, 
And the night's noontide clearnesSj mutable 
AS shapes in the weir(l clouds." 

Allowing for the different types of vegetation, we can 
recognize that the scene painted so eloquently by the poet 
was everywhere visible in the luxuriant woodlands of 
the Miocene world. The vegetation which then prevailed 
was such as one might expect to. meet in a poet's dream 
of Arcadian fairyland, a mixture of the plants which 
nowadays flourish only under "hot Afric's sky," such as 
palms, and bamboos, and Terminalia, the grand, Legu- 
minosse of warm climates (as Phaseolites, Evythrina, 
Bauhinia, Mimosites, Acacia), Apocynese analogous to 
the genera of our tropical regions, and a Rubiacea 
altogether tropical, with the genera now confined to 
temperate and even inclement regions, as maples, wal- 
nut trees, beeches, elms, oaks, and wych elms. 

During the Miocene period also flourished mosses and 
mushrooms, evergreens, charas, fig trees, planes, and 

At this epoch of the world's history the algae and 
marine monocotyledons were less abundant than in a 
preceding age ; the ferns and the conifers declined in 
numbers, and the palms multiplied in species. Some of 
those cited before seem still to belong to this period; and 
the magnificent Flabellaria, with the noble fhoenicites, 
which now appears for the first time, gave animation to 
the landscape. Among the conifers, we recognize some 
new genera ; especially fodocarpens, a southern form 
of vegetation of the present age. Almost all the arbo- 
rescent families have their representatives in the Mio- 
cene forests, where for the first time the widely different 
types are united. The waters are covered with aquatic 
plants, Nymphcea Arithnaoe, and Myriophyllites capilli- 
folius; Culmites of various species profusely adorn their 
banks ; and the great Bambusinites sepultana flings 
across the rippling wave the slender shadow of its long 
articulated stem. Some analogous species occupy the 
margin of the great rivers of the New World. 

Arborescent vegetation seems at this epoch to have 
attained its highest development. Numerous Smilacites 
interlaced, like the wild vines, the trunks of the grand 
forest trees, which fell on the ground, decayed and 
rotten, where they had previously thriven and waxed 
strong. T^ese rich scenes of abundant vegetable 
growth, of parasites and epiphytous plants and creep- 
ers, are familiar to travellers in tropical regions, where 
nature often wears her gayest livery under a curtain of 
clouds which the sun is unable to penetrate. 

" I have reached a zone," says D'Orbigny, speaking 
of Rio Chapura, in South America, " where it rains 
regularly all the year round. We can scarcely perceive 
the rays of the sup at intervals through the cloudy screen 
which almost constantly veils it. This circumstance, 
added to the heat, gives an extraordinary development 
to. the vegetation. The wild vines droop on all sides in 
wreaths and festoons from the topmost branches of 
trees whose summits lost in the clouds." 

Thus then, we find tropical plants associated with 
the vegetables of temperate climates, though they are 
not yet the same as existing species. Oaks grow side 
by side with palms, the birch in strange companionship 
with the bamboo, the laurel vies with the stately elm, 
and the maples mingle with the Combretace?e, the Legu- 
minosse, and the tropical Rubiaceae. The forms of the 
species belonging to temperate regions are, however, 
rather American in character than European. 

Professor Heer, a German botanist, lias identified 
three thousand species as belonging to the Miocene 
period. Among these European plants occupy a 
secondary rank, while an important position is held by 
the evergreen oaks, maples, poplars, and plane trees, 
Robinias and Taxodiums of America. 

The reader will now appreciate our ideal landscape 
of the Miocene period, which in luxuriance resembles a 
tropical, and in character a temperate region. In many 
respects the vegetation reminds us of that of the Car- 
boniferous period. It is, in truth, a continuation of the 
characteristics of that period, and from the same cause, 
namely, the submersion of land under marshy waters, 
which has originated a sort of coal, often found in the 
Miocene formation, and known as lignite. This imper- 
fect coal differs from that of the Carboniferous, or true 


coal-measure period, because it is of too recent date, 
and because it has not undergone the same pressure of 
superincumbent beds and the same force of internal 

The animals represented in our landscape are the 
dinotherium, basking in the rank, marshy grass; the 
gigantic mastodon; the rhinoceros; and an ape of great 
stature, the DryopitJiecus, swinging from the branches 
of a tree. The river winds far away through the leafy 
valley, almost arrested in its course, and broken up 
into still lakelets and sleepy ponds, by dams and weirs 
of aquatic plants ; and against the horizon towers the 
huge bulk of a lofty mountain range. The earth is 
losing its air of mystery and strangeness, and the land- 
scapes are gradually assuming a familiar character. On 
every hand we see the signs of a coming change which 
shall fit the earth for its lord and master Man ! 

The next sub-period, belonging to the upper Ter- 
tiaries, has been named by Sir Charles Lyell 


or '* more recent," because the organic remains trea- 
sured up within its strata number between sixty and 
seventy per cent, of living species ; that is, more than we 
find in the older Miocene, and less than we find in the 
next and last sub-period, the Pleistocene. 

In Great Britain the Pleiocene strata are only found 
in Suffolk, where they are superimposed on the upper 
beds of the London clay. Locally, they are known 
as ''crag." Consisting of shelly sand, they have been 
advantageously employed in manuring soils which are 
deficient in calcareous matter, and they are subdivided 
into the red crag and the coralline crag, each with an 
average depth or thickness of fifty feet. 

The former consists of beds of quartzose sands and 
gravel, mixed with shells, generally rolled and com- 
minuted into sand, the whole of an ochreous or deep 
ferruginous colour. The fossils are chiefly molluscous, 
but the bones and teeth of skates, sharks, and other 
fish, have been discovered, and the ear-bones of one 
or more true whales. 

The coralline crag is generally calcareous and marly. 
and composed of numerous shells and Polyzoa, sepa- 
rated in many places by thin strata of hard limestone, 
and coralline masses in the position in which they 
formerly lived. It is white in colour, and would 
seem to have been deposited in deeper and less dis- 
turbed water than the red crag. From the character 
of its fossils it may be inferred that the temperature 
of the ocean was still high. The calcareous Polyzoa 
are abundant and beautiful. 

About three hundred and forty-five species of Tes- 
tacea have been procured from the coralline, and two 
hundred and thirty from the red crag, of which about 
one hundred and fifty are common to both. About 
seventy per cent, of the newer division, and about 
sixty per cent, of the older, are also recent. 

The terrestrial animals of the Pleiocene period in- 
clude several species remarkable from their proportions 
and from their structure. Both the mammals and the 
batrachian reptiles are worthy of pur attention. 

Among the former we refer, in the first place, to 
the Mastodon, which would seem to have very nearly 

resembled our present elephant, both in size and form, 
except that the body was somewhat longer and the legs 
a little thicker. He had tusks, and probably a trunk, 
but was characterized by the peculiar structure of his 
molar teeth. These are nearly rectangular, and in their 
upper surface exhibit a number of great conical tuber- 
osities, with rounded points disposed in pairs to the 
number of four or five, according to the species. Their 
form, says Figuier, is very distinct, and may easily be 
recognized. They bear no resemblance to those of the 
Carnivora, but are like those of herbivorous animals, 
and particularly those of the hippopotamus. The molar 
teeth are at first sharp and polished, but the conical 
points are worn down by the constant process of 

The Mastodon first attracted the attention of Euro- 
pean men of science towards the middle of the last 
century. Some bones had been previously discovered 
at Albany, in the United States, but without receiving 
much consideration. In 1739 M. de Longneil, while 
exploring the immense forests on the river Ohio, in 
order to reach the Mississippi, came upon a deposit of 
bones, some of which, on his return to France, he pre- 
sented to the great naturalists, Daubenton and Buffon : 
they consisted of a gigantic femur, one extremity of a 
tusk, and three molar teeth. Buffon, after a careful 
examination of them, declared them to be the bones of 
a primeval quadruped, from six to eight times the size 
of our existing elephant. He named it the Animal or 
Elephant of the Ohio. 

In 1801 were first discovered the remains of the 
perfect skeleton ; and at a later period it was ascertained, 
from the exhumation of a mass of vegetable matter 
in the stomach of the animal, that its habits were 
unquestionably herbivorous. 

The North American Indians called the Mastodon 
" the father of the ox." In one of their most popular 
traditional songs occurs the following passage : " When 
the great Manitoti descended to the earth in order to 
assure himself of the happiness of the beings he had 
created, he questioned all the animals upon their wants 
and desires. The bison, in his turn, replied that he 
should be quite contented with his lot in the grassy 
pastures, where the rich herbage reached his belly, if 
lie were not compelled to keep his eyes constantly 
turned towards the mountains to descry the approach 
of the Father of oxen, as he descended with fury to 
devour him and his companions." 

Among the Chavanais Indians a tradition lingered 
that these huge animals lived long ages ago, contem- 
poraneously with a race of gigantic men, and that both 
were destroyed by the Great Being with his annihilating 
thunders. The native Indians of Virginia had a some- 
what similar legend. As these huge elephants preyed 
pon all the other animals created to supply the wants of 
the Indians, God the Thunderer destroyed them, onlv 
one succeeding in escaping the terrible bolts. This was 
the " great male, which presented its head to the thun- 
derbolts, and shook them off as they fell ; but being at 
ength wounded in the side, he fled towards the great 
Sakes, where he remains concealed unto this day." 

From these simple fictions we may, at all events, 
nfer that the Mastodon has flourished upon earth at no 



very remote epoch. In truth, it was contemporaneous 
with the mammoth, and the latter, if he did not live at 
the same time as the earliest human races, preceded 
them but by a very brief interval. 

It was Cuvier who distinguished the great quadruped 
from the living elephant by pointing out its osteological 

Mastodon restored. 

differences, and appropriately named it the Mastodon, 
or teat-like toothed animal, from the Greek fiaaroc, 
" a teat," and odovg, " a tooth." 

As we have said, its habits were herbivorous. It 
doubtlessly lived on the banks of great rivers and on 
moist and marshy lands. Besides the Mastodon gigan- 
teus there flourished a less formidable species, one-third 
smaller than the elephant, which ranged over nearly 
all Europe. 

At this period (and also in the Miocene) the Apes 
make their appearance. In the ossiferous beds of Sau- 
sun were discovered the Pithecus antiquus, and the 
Dryopithecus. At Pikerni, in Greece, have been found 
the entire skeleton of a Mesopithecus, whose general 
organization resembled that of the dog-faced baboon, 
or mandrill. 

The hippopotamus, tapir, and camel of the Pleio- 
cene period were not distinguished by any remarkable 
characters. The horse, the ox, and the deer resembled 
their successors of the same genera in all important 
features; the horse, however, did not exceed in size the 
ass of the present epoch. 

The species of rhinoceros belonging to the upper 
Tertiaries is the Rhinoceros tichorhinus, the Latin adjec- 
tive referring to the peculiar bony partition which 
separated its two nostrils. Its nose was surmounted 
with two horns ; its huge body clothed with very thick 
hair; while its skin lacked the rough callous scales 
which are found on that of the living African species. 

The traveller Pallas furnishes a very interesting 
account of a Rhinoceros tichorhinus which he saw ex- 
humed from the ice, wherein its skin, hair, and flesh 

had been preserved. This occurred on the banks of the 
Viloui, a Siberian tributary of the Lena, in December, 

'.' The remains appeared to me at first glance," he 
said, " to belong to a rhinoceros ; the head especially 
was quite recognizable, since it was covered with its 
leathery skin, and the skin had 
preserved all its external char- 
acters, and many short hairs. 
The eyelids had even escaped 
total decay, and in the cranium 
:. here and there, under the skin, 
I perceived some matter which 
was evidently- the remains of 
putrified flesh. I also remarked 
in the feet the remains of the 
tendons and cartilages where the 
skin had been removed. The 
head was without its horn, and 
the feet were without hoofs. 
The place of the horn, and the 
raised skin which had sur- 
rounded it, and the division 
which existed in both the hind 
and fore feet, were evident proofs 
of its being a rhinoceros. . . 
The skin and tendons of the 
head and feet still preserved 
considerable flexibility, imbued 
as it were with moisture from 
the ground; but the flesh exhaled 
a strong ammoniacal odour. 

"The rhinoceros to which the different members 
belonged was neither large for its species nor advanced 
in age, as the bones of the head attested ; yet it was 
evidently an adult, from a comparison made of the size 
of the cranium with that of others of the same species 
more advanced in age, which were afterwards discovered 
in a fossilized condition in divers parts of Siberia. The 
entire length of the head, from the upper part of the 
nape of the neck to the extremity of the denuded bone 
of the jaw, was thirty inches ; the horns were not with 
the head, but we could still see evident traces of two, 
the nasal and frontal. The front, unequal and a little 
protuberant between the orbits, as well as of a rhom- 
boidal shape, was deficient in the skin, and only covered 
by a light horny membrane, bristling with hard straight 
hairs. The skin which clothed the greater portion of 
the surface of the head was, in the dried state, a tena- 
cious fibrous substance, like curried leather, of a brown- 
ish black on the outside and white in the inside when 
burnt, its odour was that of common leather; the mouth, 
in the place where the lips should have been soft and 
fleshy, was putrid and greatly lacerated; the extremities 
of the maxillary bone were bare. 

" On the left side, which probably had been longest 
exposed to atmospheric action, the skin in some places 
was decomposed and rubbed on the surface. Yet, on 
the right side, most of the mouth was so well preserved 
that the pores or little holes, from which doubtless the 
hairs had fallen, were still visible all over that side, and 
even in front. In certain places on the right side of 
the jaw numerous hairs were still grouped in tufts; 


most of them were rubbed down to tbe roots, but a 
few still retained their full length. They stood erect, are 
stiff, and of an ashen colour, but in each bunch were 
two or three quite black, and more rigid than the others. 

" The most surprising fact, however, was that the skin 
which covered the orbits of the eyes, and formed the 
eyelids, was so well preserved and so healthy that the 
openings of the eyelids could be seen, though deformed 
aud scarcely penetrable to the finger ; the skin which 
surrounded the orbits, though desiccated, formed cir- 
cular furrows. The cavities of the eyes were filled with 
matter, either argillaceous or animal, such as still par- 
tially filled the cranium. Under the skin the fibres and 
tendons still remained, and, above a]l, the remains of the 
temporal muscles ; finally, in the throat hung some 
great bundles of muscular fibres. The denuded bones 
were young, and not so solid as in other fossil crania of 
the same species. The extremities of the jaws pre- 
served no trace either of teeth or sockets, but were 
covered here and there with the remains of the integu- 
ment. The first molar was distant about four inches 
from the exterior edge of the jaw." 

Contemporaneous with these large mammals were 
great numbers of reptiles, of which the most remark- 
able was the Salamander. The Salamanders of the 
present epoch are amphibious Batrachians, with smooth 
skins, and rarely attain the length of twenty inches ; 
but the Salamander of the upper tertiaries was as large 
as a crocodile. When first discovered, and for some 
time afterwards, until Cuvier and Camper showed its 
true character, it was supposed to be a human victim 
of the Deluge, and christened, " homo diluvii testis." 

" It is certain," wrote the learned Scheucbzer, in his 
"Physica Sacra," "that this schist"- he referred to the 
schistose limestone quarries of (Eningen, in Switzerland 
" contains the half, or nearly the half, of the skeleton 
of a man ; that the substance even of the bones, and 
what is more, of the flesh and of parts still softer than 
the flesh, are there incorporated in the stone r in a word, 
it is one of the rarest relics -which we have of that 
accursed race which was buried under the waters. 
The figure shows us the contour of the frontal bone, 
the orbits with the openings which give passage to the 
great nerves of the fifth pair. We see there the remains 
of the brain, of the sphenoidal bone, of the roots of the 
nose, a notable fragment pf the maxillary bone, and 
some vestiges of the liver." And our enthusiastic 
author exclaims, in bad rhyme and rhythm 

" Botriibtes Beingeriist voi) einem altem Sander 
Erweiche, Stein, das Herz der neuen Boskeitskinder-! ' 

which has been thus Englished : 

*' Qh deplorable skeleton of an accursed ancient, 
May the sinner on beholding thee repent ! " 

An examination of any engraving of this ancient 
animal will show the reader how utterly fanciful was 
the resemblance which Scheuchzer's heated brain pro- 
fessed to discover between the Pleiocene fossil and the 
human skeleton. Cuvier convincingly exposed the 
absurd error, and restored the primeval animal to 
its proper place in creation, as an amphibious Batra- 
chian of the order Salamander. 

Birds were also very numerous during the Pleiocene 
perkd, cheering the solitudes with their songs, and 
enlivening them with their brilliant plumage. Among 
the most conspicuous genera were eagles, vultures, 
gnlls, swallows, pies, parroquets, jungle-fowl, ducks, 
and pheasants. 

We have now arrived at the last period of the 
primeval world, and we find the characters of its 
vegetation and the general features of its landscapes, as 
may be seen in our illustration (Plate 9), more and 
more closely approximating to those which now obtain. 
Vast physical changes have taken place in the physical 
relations of the globe, corresponding to the mutations 
we have described as being effected in the organization 
and disposition of animal life. The dinornjs and 
palsepteryx, the megathere, the toxodon, and the mylo- 
don, the camel, the giraffe, the rhinoceros these animals 
could not have existed on the earth of the Cretaceous 
or Oolitic ages; our planet had to. be fitted for their 
reception, preparatory to the appearance of humanity 
on the wondrous theatre designed by Almighty Power. 
In the northern hemisphere, therefore, a cooler tem- 
perature prevailed; many of the principal mountain- 
chains, the Himalayas, the Alps, the Apennines, 
having been elevated into their present position, and 
the large inland seas which had occupied the central 
plains of Europe, Asia and Africa, having gradually 
been transformed into lake, swamp, and dry land. 

In th,e Pleiocene period, therefore, though the tem- 
perate zones are still adorned by tropical forms of 
vegetation, we find them slowly declining before the 
influences of a colder climate and the encroachments 
pf hardier species. We find everywhere the signs 
pf great terrestrial commotions ; the continents now 
assume their final configuration ; the great rivers arc- 
confined within well-marked channels; and lofty 
mountain peaks, crowned with eternal snow, tower far 
above the clouds. 

Two hundred and twelve species, we are told, com- 
pose the rich Pleiocene flora. The huge ferny growth 
of the earlier ages is scarcely indicated ; many of the 
varieties of Palmapeae have wholly passed away ; and 
the forms generally prevailing are absolutely identical 
with the species which now embellish our forests, 
meadows, and smiling valleys. The Citlmites arundi- 
naceus abounds near the water's edge, where also 
flourishes the Cyperjtes tertiarius ; on the surface of 
the stream floats the Dotamogelon, and beneath it waves 
the Isoetes Braunii. Stately conifers still compose the 
dense, shadpwy, pathless forests. This noble family 
has passed, as we have seen, through every epoch, 
every chance and change of the history of the primeval 
world, and still enriches the landscape with its graceful 
forms and evergreen foliage ; Taxodiles, ThuyoxyJum, 
Abietites, Eleozylon, Taxiles, and Pinites, being still 
the most abundant forms in our natural forests. 

" The predominating character of this period," says 
Lewy, "is the prevalence of the group of the Amen- 
tace_se. While the Conifers are only thirty-two in num- 
ber, we reckon of the other two and fifty species, and 
among these many European genera, such as Alnvs ; 
Q'tercus, the oak ; Salix, the willow ; Fagus, the beech ; 
, the bircb^. 


" The following families constitute the arborescent 
flora of the period, in addition to those already men- 
tioned : 























' In all these families great numbers of European 
genera are found, even more subdivided into species 
than is now the case. Thus, as Brongniart observes, 
we reckon in this flora fourteen species of maple ; three 
species of oak ; and these species are found in two or 
three very circumscribed localities, that, at the present 
time, would probably not represent, in a radius of 
several leagues, more than three or four species of 
these genera." 

Such is the character of the vegetation which the 
artist has represented in his ideal landscape. In the 
background he shows us a mountain of recent eleva- 
tion, to remind us that the epoch was one of frequent 
convulsions, that the soil was subjected to violent 
changes, and mountains and mountain ranges then 
rose above the waters. In the foreground a rhinoceros 
rises from the marshes of the river-bank ; an elephant 
calmly surveys the scene before him ; a horse gallops 
in unrestrained liberty over the grassy plain ; and thirsty 
cattle come down to the stream fur refreshment and 

We now arrrive at the 


also called the Pleistocene, and sometimes described as 
the introductory age of the Quaternary, or, as Sir Charles 
Lyell would call it, the Post -tertiary epoch. 

The earth in those remote days presented a strange 
but animated aspect, which a writer already quoted has 
described in graphic terms. 

The reader, with the help of fancy, may discern a 
panorama of shallow seas swarming with humble forms 
of animal life ; islands covered with bushy palms ; banks 
on which turtles basked in the sand; vast basins of 
fresh or brackish water, in which the tide made itself 
felt, and which abounded with various species of sharks; 
rivers in which crocodiles increased and multiplied ; 
woods which sheltered numerous mammals and some 
serpents of large size ; fresh-water lakes which received 
the spoils of numerous shells. Dry land has increased 
immensely. Groups of ancient isles have united into 
continents, with lakes, bays, and perhaps inland seas. 
Gigantic elephants, considerably larger than any now 
existing, terminate the epoch, and probably usher in the 
succeeding one ; for the reader must not suppose, as we 
have already hinted, that any absolute barrier existed 
between one period and another, or any broad and 
unmistakable line of demarcation. But, judging from 
their remains, these primeval elephants must have 
existed in great numbers. It is said that on the coast 
of Norfolk alone, the fishermen, in trawling for oysters, 
fished up in thirteen years no less than two thousand 

molar teeth of elephants. Considering the slow increase 
of these animals, such " quarries of ivory," as Figuier 
calls them, must have required many centuries for their 

The lakes and rivers were at the same time infested 
by the hippopotamus, not less colossal or less formid- 
ably armed than the species now inhabiting the African 
solitudes; and in the marshes and the marshy plains 
roamed the two-horned rhinoceros, and three species 
of Bos (or ox), one of which was hairy and bore a mane. 
Deer of gigantic size compared with living species 
bounded across the broad savannahs. There, too, the 
reindeer, the goat, the horse, the ass, the bear, and the 
roe, enjoyed the delights of unlimited freedom. In tht 
rank jungles lurked the tiger, as large as any feline 
species now existing. Another animal of the same 
race, the Machairodus, was probably the most ferocious 
and destructive of Carnivora. A terrible bear, surpass- 
ing in size that of the Rocky Mountains, and bands of 
wild hyaenas, established themselves in the caverns ; two 
species of beavers, and one of apes, now first appeared 
in the lists of created life. 

Geology records few more interesting incidents than 
the discovery of ossiferous deposits of the most varied 
character at Kent's Hole, near Torquay, and in the 
Kirkdale Cave of Yorkshire. The occurrence in these 
deposits of the bones of animals not generally found 
together, has been the cause of much speculation. Dr. 
Buckland was of opinion that one of the last great 
physical events affecting the surface of our globe was a 
violent inundation which overwhelmed great part of the 
northern hemisphere, and that this event was followed 
by the sudden disappearance of a large number of the 
species of terrestrial quadrupeds which had inhabited 
those regions in the period immediately preceding it. 
Recent geologists, however, trace their extinction to the 
slow and successive action of local causes, and especially 
to a gradual decline of the temperature. 

The more interesting of these Post-pleiocene extinct 
animals we shall describe. To our hemisphere there 
belonged the mammoth (Elephas primigenius) ; the 
bear ( Ursus spelceus) ; the gigantic tiger (Felis spelcea) ; 
the hyaena (Hyaena spelcea} ; the ox (Bos priscus, and 
Bos primigenius} ; the gigantic stag (Cervus megaceros) ; 
and the Dinornis and Epiornis among birds. 

In America, during this period, existed some colossal 
Edentates of remarkable structure : The Megatherium; 
the Megalonyx; the Mylodon. 

The Mammoth exceeded in dimensions the largest 
of existing elephants, for it measured from sixteen to 
eighteen feet in height, and it was distinguished from 
living species by the semicircular curvature of its 
monstrous tusks, which were from twelve to thirteen 
feet long. From its ally, the Mastodon, it was dis- 
tinguished by its teeth ; for while those of the latter 
were covered with rough tubercles, the mammoth's had 
a broad uniform surface, regularly marked with furrows 
of large curvature. Its teeth were four in number ; 
two in each jaw, when the animal was adult ; its head 
was elongated, its forehead concave, its jaws curved 
and truncated in front. The whole of its huge bulk 
was clothed with long shaggy hair, and along its robust 
neck and back waved a thick heavy mane. Its trunk 



resembled that of the Indian elephant ; its body was 
cumbrous; its legs shorter than those of the latter 
animal, with which in habits, however, it closely cor- 

The fossil bones of the Mammoth have been fre- 
quently discovered, and in almost all parts of Europe ; 
as, for instance, in Scandinavia, in Ireland, in Germany, 
in Central Europe, in Poland, in Central and Southern 
i, in Greece, Spain, Italy, and England. They 

Mammoth restored. 

have also been found in Asia, Africa, and the New 
World. But they occur in the greatest abundance in 
the regions of northern Europe, where no modern 
elephant could possibly exist. " There is not," says 
Pallas, " in the whole of Asiatic Eussia, from the Don 
to the extremity of the Tchertchian promontory, any 
brook or river, especially of those which flow in the 
plains, on whose banks some bones of elephants and 
other animals foreign to the climate have not been 
found. But in the more elevated regions, the primitive 
and schistose chains, they are wanting, as are marine 
petrifactions. In the lower slopes, and in the great 
muddy and sandy plains, above all in places which 
are swept by rivers and brooks, they are always met 
with, which proves that we should assuredly find them 
throughout the whole extent of the country, if we had 
the same means of searching for them." 

Connected with the discovery of these remains some 
extraordinary but well authenticated stories are related : 
In 1799 a Tungusian fisherman observed among the 
icebergs, on the shore of the Frozen Sea, near the 
mouth of the river Lena, a strangely-shaped block which 
he could not understand. The following year he per- 
ceived that this block was further detached from the 
surrounding mass of ice, but was still unable to divine 
its character. Towards the close of the third year one 
whole side was exposed to view, and he then discovered 
the entire flank and tusks of the Mammoth protruding 

from the ice. It was not till the fifth year that, undci 
the influence of a remarkably genial spring, the enor- 
mous mass became stranded on a sand-bank of the 
coast. In the month of March, 1805, the fisherman 
removed the tusks. 

Two years after this Mr. Adams, of the St. Peters- 
burg Academy, travelling in the suite of Count 
Golovkin, whom the czar of Russia had despatched on 
an embassy to China, obtained information of these 
curious incidents, and hastened 
to examine the locality. He 
found the animal considerably 
mutilated. The Yakoutskes 
had cut off the flesh, so won- 
derfully preserved for thousands 
of years, to feed their dogs, and 
it had also been mangled by 
wild beasts. Nevertheless, the 
bkeleton remained nearly intact, 
with the exception of one fore- 
foot. The spine of the back, a 
scapula, the pelvis, and the 
remains of the three limbs, were 
still connected by the ligaments 
and a portion of the skin ; the 
missing scapula was found in 
the immediate neighbourhood. 
A dry skin covered the head ; 
one of the ears, well preserved, 
was furnished with a tuft of 
hair ; you might still distinguish 
the balls of the eyes ; the brain, 
but dried up, still occupied its 
place in the cranium ; the under 
lip had been rubbed, and the 
upper lip destroyed so as to expose the jaws; a flowing 
mane adorned the top of the neck; the skin was 
covered with tufts of black hair and reddish wool. 
The remains of the animal were so bulky that it was 
with difficulty ten persons carried them. Upwards of 
thirty pounds weight of hair and wool was recovered 
which the white bears had plundered, and, devouring 
the flesh, had buried in the moist soil. The animal was 
a male; its tusks exceeded nine feet in length, and 
the head, without the tusks, weighed upwards of four 

Figuier remarks that it is very strange that the 
East Indies, one of the only two regions now inhabited 
by the elephant, should be the sole country where the 
fossil bones of the Mammoth have not been discovered. 
It is evident, from the data gathered by geologists, that 
during the Post-tertiary epoch this colossal quadruped 
inhabited every country of the globe. But the only 
climates now suitable to the race of elephants are those 
of Africa and India, in other words, tropical climates : 
hence we must infer that at the epoch of the Mammoth 
and the Mastodon, the temperature of the earth was 
considerably higher than now obtains, or else that 
these extinct animals were adapted for inhabiting a 
colder region than their successors can now endure. 

One of the most formidable of the antediluvian 
Carnivora seems to have been the Ursiis spelccus, or 
Cave Bear. 


This species was probably a fourth larger than the 
existing brown bear, and was also of a more cumbrous 
and ungainly shape. The skeletons found average nine 
or ten feet in length, and not above six feet in height. 
The Cave Bear abounded in England, Belgium, Vienna, 
and Germany. 

The Felis spelceus, or Cave Tiger, was twice the size 
of its modern successor, and, in fact, partook of the 
characters of both tiger and lion. Its body exceeded 
in bulk and strength that of the largest bull, while 
measuring upwards of four yards in length. 

The Hycena spelcea, or Cave Hysena, closely 
resembles, not only in size, but in habits, the existing 
spotted hysena of the East. The fossil remains of 
about three hundred individuals were discovered in the 
Kirkdale cave, together with the bones of the animals 
they had devoured. 

The Horse dates from the Quaternary epoch, says 
Figuier, if not from the last period of the Tertiary epoch. 
Its remains are found in the same rocks with those of 
the Mammoth and the Rhinoceros. It is distinguished 
from our existing horse only by its size, which was 
smaller: its memorials abound in the Post-pleiocene 
strata, not only in Europe but in America ; so that an 
aboriginal horse existed in the New World long before 
it was carried thither by the Spaniards, although it was 
unknown at the date of their arrival. 

The Post-pleiocene oxen very nearly approximated to 
present species. Three varieties have been recognized : 
the Bos priscus, Bos primigenius, and Bos Pallasii. 
The first had slender legs ; its broad forehead was high 
and convex, and except that it was taller, and had 
larger legs, it differed but little from the Aurochs. Our 
domestic oxen, according to Cuvier, spring from the 
Bos primigenius. The Bos Pallasii, found in America 
and Siberia, resembled, in many important respects, the 
Canadian Musk-ox. 

Of the Deer it may safely be affirmed, that it is very 
difficult to distinguish the fossil remains from those of 
existing species. The only exception is in the case of 
the gigantic forest stag, Cervus megaceros, frequently 
called the "Irish Elk." Its remains are frequently 
found in Ireland, and more rarely in Germany, Poland, 
Italy, and France. Intermediate between the stag and 
the elk, the Cervus megaceros approached the latter in 
the shape of its cranium and its general proportions ; 
the former in its size, and the arrangement of its horns. 
These were between nine and ten feet long, and so 
divergent that the space from one extremity to the 
other measured ten to twelve feet. 

Its skeleton is exhumed from the deposits of calcareous 

tufa which underlie the immense peat moss of Ireland, 

I and nearly always in the same attitude, as if suddenly 

I overtaken by the crash of doom: its head is raised 

| aloft, its neck stretched out, its horns reversed and 

sloped downwards towards the back, as if the animal, 

sinking all unexpectedly in marshy ground, had lifted 

itself in a vain attempt to-drink in the respirable air. 

We come now to the most curious and wonderful 
creatures of the Quaternary period, the colossal Eden- 
tates, by which it was peculiary distinguished the 
gigantic Megatherium, the Glyptodou, the Mylodon, 
and the Megalonyx. 

The prominent characteristic of the Edentates* is the 
absence of teeth in the fore part of the mouth. Their 
masticatory apparatus is confined only to molars, the 
canines and incisors being, with a few exceptions, 
altogether absent. Consequently the animals of this 
order feed principally upon insects, or on fruits, grass, 
and the young leaves of plants. The Armadillo, Ant- 
eater, and Pangolin are living examples of the order, 
which, as its members are further characterized by 
possessing largely-developed claws at the extremities of 
the toes, may be considered a connecting link between 
the hoofed mammals and the ungulated animals, or 
those armed with claws. 

Among the Edentata of the Post-pleiocene period 
the foremost place must unquestionably be given to the 
Megatherium, an animal of the most extraordinary 
and fantastic character, nearly allied to the Sloth in 
some parts of its organization, and, like the Sloth, 
exhibiting an apparently monstrous and anomalous 
external form, accompanied internally by many pecu- 
liarities of conformation. 

It has been a common error to depict the Sloth 
as one of the most imperfectly constructed of all 
the members of the animal kingdom, doomed to a 
life of misery, and utterly incapable of enjoyment. 
But the seemingly anomalous conditions on which 
the earlier naturalists so unwisely insisted are not only 
not deficiencies, or sources of pain or discomfort to the 
animal, but, on the contrary, are striking illustrations 
of the varied contrivances by which the great Maker 
adapts each of his creatures to the work it is intended 
to execute, and the particular circumstances under which 
it is designed to live. 

" The peculiarities of the Sloth," says Dr. Buckland, 
" that render its movements so awkward on the earth, 
are fitted with much advantage to its destined office of 
living entirely upon trees, and feeding upon their leaves; 
so also, if we consider the Megatherium with a view to 
its province of digging and feeding upon roots, we shall, 
in this habit, discover the explanation of its unusual 
structure and apparently incongruous proportions, and 
find in every organ a relation of obvious convenience, 
and of adaptation to the office it had to discharge. 

" At first sight this gigantic quadruped appears not 
only ill-proportioned as a whole, but endowed with 
the clumsiest and most incongruous members. Here 
we have a truly colossal animal, exceeding the largest 
rhinoceros in bulk, and to which the living species 
most closely approximative are the Sloth, the Armadillo, 
and the Chlamyphorus ; the former adapted to an 
arboreal life ; the two latter constructed to burrow in 
the sand in quest of food and shelter ; and all limited 
in their geographical distribution nearly to the same 
regions of America that were once the habitat of the 

" But let us examine with some degree of attention 
the more important organs of this seemingly monstrous 
creature, and we shall see how admirably they are 
fitted for the peculiar work they were called upon to 
perform. The bones of the head most nearly resemble 
those of a Sloth. The long broad bone descending 
to the cheek from the zygomatic arch, however, is 
From the Latin e, without, and dens, a 'tooth. 



a peculiarity connecting the Megatherium with the 
Ai ; this extraordinary bone assisted a powerful set of 
muscles in giving motion to the lower jaw. The 
anterior part of the muzzle," according to Dr. Buck- 
land, of whose admirable description we are largely 
availing ourselves, "is so strong and substantial, and 
so perforated with holes for the passage of nerves and 
vessels, that we may be assured it supported some 

Megatherium restored. 

organ of considerable size. As a long trunk was not 
needed by an animal with so long a neck, this organ 
was probably a snout, something like that of the tapir, 
of sufficient length to gather up roots from the ground. 
The partition of the nostrils being also strong and bony, 
furnishes an additional argument for the presence of 
a powerful organ appended to the nose ; an apparatus 
which would have sufficiently compensated for the 
absence of incisor teeth and tusks. Having no incisors, 
the Megatherium could not have lived upon grass, while 
the structure of its molar teeth proves that it was not 

"The" composition of a single molar tooth resem- 
bles that of one of the many denticules that are united 
in the compound molar of the elephant; and affords 
an excellent exemplification of the method employed 
by Nature, whereby three substances of unequal density, 
viz., ivory, enamel, and ci~usta petrosa, or ccementum, 
are united in the construction of the teeth of gramini- 
vorous animals The teeth are about seven inches 
long, and nearly of a prismatic form. The grinding 
surfaces exhibit a peculiar and beautiful contrivance 
for maintaining ten cutting, wedge-shaped, salient edges 
in good working condition during the whole existence 
of the tooth ; being, as before stated, a modification 
of the contrivance employed in the molars of the 

elephant and other Herbivora. The same principle is 
applied by tool-makers for the purpose of maintaining 
a sharp edge in axes, scythes, bill-hooks. An axe, or 
bill-hook, is not made entirely of steel, but of one thin 
steel plate, inserted between two plates of softer iron, 
and so inclosed that the steel projects beyond the 
iron, along the entire line of the cutting edge of the 
instrument. A double advantage results from this 
contrivance ; first, the instru- 
ment is less liable to fracture 
than if it were entirely made 
of the more brittle material of 
steel, and secondly, the cutting 
edge is more easily kept sharp 
by grinding down a portion of 
exterior soft iron, than if the 
entire mass were of hard steel. 
By a similar contrivance, two 
cutting edges are produced on 
the crown of the molar teeth 
of the Megatherium." 

Thus the process of mastica- 
tion formed and maintained in 
order a series of wedges, locking 
into each other like the alter- 
nate ridges on the rollers of a 
crushing-mill; and the mouth 
of the Megatherium was con- 
verted, in effect, into an engine 
of prodigious power, in which 
the grinding surfaces of sixteen 
molar teeth composed double 
that number of wedges; each 
tooth was from seven to nine 
inches long, and for the greater 
part of its length was firmly 
embedded in a very deep socket. 
As the surfaces of these teeth would necessarily 
wear away with great rapidity, the loss incessantly 
occurring at the crown was constantly supplied by the 
addition of new matter at the root, which, for this pur- 
pose, remained hollow, and filled with pulp throughout 
the animal's life. Thus, this exquisite mechanical 
apparatus maintained itself in perfect order by the very 
act of performing its own work. 

In proportion to the rest of the head the lower 
jaw is exceedingly large and weighty, having been so 
constructed for the purpose of affording deep sockets 
for the solid fixture and incessant growth of the long 
vertical molar teeth. And as it became necessary to 
provide a support for a jaw of this unusual bulk, the 
"process" descending from the so-called zygomatic 
arch in the Megatherium, as in all the sloths, is 
fashioned with unusual strength and rigidity. 

The vertebrae of the neck, compared with those 
towards the opposite extremity of the body, are really 
small, but yet of sufficient size for the movements of 
a head which is of no excessive weight, and without 
tusks. The dorsal portion of the vertebral column is 
of moderate size, but the vertebrae of the loins enlarge, 
so as to correspond with the huge pelvis and colossal 
hind-legs. The summits of the spiuous processes are 
flattened like those in the armadillo. 


Dr. Buckland points out that the sacral bone is 
united to the pelvis in a very singular manner, evi- 
dently with the object of securing the greatest possible 
amount of strength, while its processes indicate that 
the muscles regulating the movement of the tail were 
of great power. 

The tail was long, and composed of vertebrae of 
enormous magnitude ; the body of the largest measur- 
ing not less than seven inches in diameter, while the 
distance horizontally between the extremities of the 
two transverse processes was twenty inches. Include 
the thickness of the muscles and tendons, and of the 
shelly integument, and you cannot estimate the dia- 
meter of the tail at its root at less than two feet ; 
while its circumference, supposing it to be nearly cir- 
cular, like the tail of the armadillo, would be about 
six feet, or twice the size of a well-grown man. These 
vast dimensions, observes our authority, are not larger, 
in proportion to the adjacent parts of the body, than 
those of the armadillo ; and as this animal makes use 
of its tail as an auxiliary in supporting the weight of 
its body and armour, we may reasonably infer that the 
Megatherium employed its huge caudal extremity in a 
similar manner.* The large inferior spines, or addi- 
tional chevron bones, attached to the caudal vertebrae, 
by increasing the strength of the tail, would render 
it more useful in this important rest. But the tail 
was also probably employed as a powerful defensive 
weapon, like that of the crocodiles and pangolins. 

The ribs of the Megatherium are at once thicker, 
shorter, and more substantial than those of the rhino- 
ceros or elephant; and in some of them the convex 
tipper surfaces exhibit a rugose and flattened condi- 
tion, showing the points where the weight of the bony 
cuirass chiefly rested. 

The scapula, or shoulder-bone, is unlike that of any 
other family, except the Sloth, and displays in the 
acromioii " contrivances for strength, peculiar to itself 
and them, in its mode of articulation with the collar- 
bone ; it also exhibits unusual provisions for the support 
of the most powerful muscles for the movement of 
the arm." 

The clavicle, or collar-bone, is strong, and incur- 
vated nearly as in man. From the presence of this 
bone, which is wanting in the elephant, the rhinoceros, 
and all the large Kuminantia, we conclude that the 
fore-leg fulfilled some other function than that of a 
mere locomotive organ. This clavicle would afford a 
steady and permanent position to the socket, or glenoid 
cavity of the scapula, and so permit the animal's fore- 
leg, like the human arm, to move freely in a rotatory 

In these circumstances we find, says Dr. Buckland, 
whose admirable description of the Megatherium we 
have closely followed 1st, That a free rotatory power 
of the fore-leg was auxiliary to its office as an instru- 
ment to be continually employed in digging food out 
of the ground ; 2nd, That this act of perpetual digging 
in search of stationary objects like roots, needed but 

* The elephant's tail is remarkably light and slender, being 
chiefly used to brush off insects ; that of the hippopotamus, 
being intended to act like a rudder when the animal is swim- 
ming, is only a few inches long, and vertically flattened. 

little locomotive power ; and 3rd, That the compara- 
tively slight support rendered to the weight of the 
huge armour-plated body by the fore-leg, was abun- 
dantly compensated by the extraordinary, the almost 
gigantic strength, of the haunches and hind legs. 

In the elephant the excessive weight of the animal's 
head, proboscis, and tusks require a short, thick neck, 
and a proportionate development and solidity in the 
fore-legs, which are consequently built up, so to speak, 
on a stronger and bolder scale than the posterior ex- 
tremities ; but with the Megatherium we find the relative 
proportions reversed : a small head is accompanied by 
a long neck, and the anterior portions of its body are 
but slightly weighted in comparison with its abdominal 
and posterior regions. So exquisite is the foresight, 
so ingenious the contrivance, which we discover mani- 
fested in the smallest details of animal organization ! 
Every want is met as it arises; nowhere does any 
slovenliness or rudeness prevail, but an abundant pro- 
vision is made for the comfort, well-being, and com- 
pleteness of every creature. 

To secure strength and facilitate motion for the fore- 
legs of the Megatherium there exists, then, a peculiar 
adaptation of the shoulder-blade and collar-bone. But 
this strength is not merely intended to sustain the 
weight of the body, nor is this motion designed to be 
progressive. The humerus articulates with the scapula 
by a round head, which admits of unrestrained motion 
in various directions. It is small at its upper and 
middle part, but at its lower end attains extraordinary 
breadth, owing to an enormous expansion of the crests 
which rise from the condyles, to give origin to the 
muscles for the movement of the fore-foot and toes : 
just such an expansion, we must observe, as is found 
in the lower part of the humerus of the ant-eater, 
which employs its fore-feet in digging up the solid 
hills of the termite ants. The ulna is singularly broad 
and powerful at its upper extremity, affording a large 
space for the origin of the muscles which regulate the 
movement of the foot. 

The entire fore-foot must have been about thirty- 
six inches long and upwards of twelve inches wide, 
forming a most efficient instrument for moving the 
earth from that depth within which succulent roots 
are generally most plentiful. This great length of the 
fore-foot, when resting upon the ground, however 
inconsistent with rapid progressive motion, must have 
been of the highest value in enabling one fore-leg, in 
conjunction with the hind-legs and tail, to support the 
whole pressure of the Megatherium's body, w'hile the 
other fore-leg was exclusively employed in the operation 
of digging up food. 

The fore-foot of the armadillo (Dasypus peba), and 
of the Chlamyphorus, is similarly adapted for digging 
purposes ; and in each may be observed an unusual 
enlargement and elongation of the extreme bones of 
the toes for the support of long massive claws. Such, 
too, was the case with the Megatherium ; the bones 
supporting the claws were composed partly of an axis, 
or pointed core, which filled the internal cavity of the 
horny claw, and partly of a bony sheath forming a 
strong case to receive and support its root. These 
claws were placed obliquely to the ground, like the 


digging claws of the mole, and thus were rendered by 
their very position instruments of greater power for 
the excavation of the soil. 

We must now glance at the posterior extremities 
of this huge primeval sloth one of the most interest- 
ing animals of the antediluvian world. The pelvis 
was remarkably expansive and solid. The enormous 
bones of the ilium were set nearly at right angles to 
the spine of the back, and were more than five feet 
asunder at their outer margin, thus considerably 
exceeding the dimensions across the haunches of the 
largest elephant. Such proportions would have been 
highly inconvenient for any animal of ordinary stature, 
but were probably we may rather say unquestionably 
advantageous to the Megatherium, from its habit of 
standing for considerable periods on three legs only, 
while the fourth leg was employed as a digging instru- 
ment, or in loosening the roots and overturning the 
trees on whose foliage it browsed. 

But not only was the pelvis distinguished by its 
breadth and weight ; it was also characterized by an 
unusual arrangement of the acetabulum, or socket, 
which articulates with the head of the thigh-bones. 
While in other animals we find this cavity set more or 
less obliquely outwards, so as to facilitate the movement 
of the hind leg, in the Megatherium it was set perpen- 
dicularly downwards, over the head of the thigh-bone 
(femur'), and unusually near the spine. Thus it obtained 
increased power of resisting vertical pressure, though 
its capacity of rapid motion was diminished. 

As another illustration of the enormous size and 
power of the muscles of its thigh and leg, we may men- 
tion the fact that the cavity in the sacrum for the 
passage of the spinal marrow must have been fully an 
inch in circumference. 

The gigantic breadth of the pelvis and the adjective 
employed is not an exaggeration is evidence of the 
extreme size of the abdominal cavity, of the volumi- 
nousness of the viscera, and consequent adaptation to 
the digestion of vegetable food. 

Nor were the form and proportions of the thigh-bone 
less remarkable. It was nearly three times the thick- 
ness of the femur of the largest elephant. Its breadth 
is nearly half its entire length, and a neck of singular 
strength and shortness, but twenty-two inches in cir- 
cumference, united its head to the body of the bone. 
Its length is two feet four inches ; its circumference at 
the smallest part two feet two inches, and at the largest 
part three feet two inches. Its body is also flattened, 
and, owing to this flatness, expanded outwards " to a 
degree of which nature presents no other example. " 
These peculiarities, remarks Dr. Buckland, appear to be 
subservient to a double purpose; 'first, to give extra- 
ordinary strength by the shortness and solidity of all 
its proportions, and secondly, to afford compensation 
by its external flatness for the weakness which must 
otherwise have resulted from the inward position of 
these sockets, by which the femur articulates with the 

Not less ingeniously was contrived the articulation of 
the leg with the hind foot, so as to support the enor- 
mous downward pressure of the bulky body. The great 
bone of the instep was nine inches broad and nine inches 

high, and rested upon a heel-bone of the extraordinary 
length of seventeen, and the not less extraordinary 
circumference of twenty-eight inches. 

It will readily be understood how solid a support 
must have been afforded by this colossal bone to that 
continuous accumulation of weight which we have 
observed in the pelvis, thigh, and leg. The heel-bone, 
iu fact, occupied nearly one-half of the entire length of 
the hind foot. The bones of the toes were all short, 
excepting the extreme joint, which supported the enor- 
mous claw ; but they were longer than the largest of 
those in the fore-foot, measuring thirteen inches in cir- 
cumference, and having within its sheath a core, two 
inches long, for the support of the claw already men- 
tioned, whose chief use perhaps was to keep the hind 
foot firmly planted upon the ground. 

" Feet and legs thus heavily constructed," says Dr. 
Buckland, " must have been very inefficient organs of 
rapid locomotion, and may consequently seem imper- 
fect, if considered in relation to the ordinary functions of 
other quadrupeds ; but, viewed as instruments adapted 
for supporting an almost stationary creature, of unusual 
weight, they claim our admiration equally with every 
other piece of animal mechanism, when its end and uses 
are understood. The perfection of any instrument can 
only be appreciated by looking to the work it is intended 
to perform. The hammer and anvil of an anchor-smith, 
though massive, are neither clumsy nor imperfect ; but 
bear the same proportionate relation to the work in 
which they are employed as the light and fine tools of 
the watchmaker bear to the more delicate wheels of his 

Our final view of the structure of the Megatherium 
will be devoted to its bony armour, the characteristic 
in which it approaches most nearly to the Armadillo 
and Chlatnyphorus. There is reason to belie've that its 
hide was covered with a complete coat of osseous mail, 
which varied from three-fourths of an inch to an inch 
and a half in thickness, and resembled the mailed 
coverings of those living denizens of tropical America. 
And notwithstanding the great weight of so remarkable 
"a suit of armour," we cannot pronounce it inconsistent 
with the general structure of the animal. The huge 
hind legs and colossal tail of the Megatherium were well 
able to sustain it ; and the strength of the loins and ribs, 
greatly exceeding that of the elephant, seems to have 
been designed for carrying the ponderous cuirass which 
protected its body. 

But what was the use of this cuirass? What purpose 
did it serve? It was probably defensive, protecting 
the animal, not only against the tusks and claws of 
the voracious quadrupeds which then existed, but also 
against the legions of insects engendered by a close and 
sultry climate, to whose attacks an animal that obtained 
its food by digging beneath a burning sun would be 
constantly exposed. We may also infer that it was of 
advantage in defending the back and upper parts of the 
body, not only against sun, and rain, and insects, but 
against the accumulations of sand and dust that would 
otherwise have maintained a constant state of irritability, 
and resulted iu prolonged disease. 

Similar uses seem 'to be served by the bony covering 
of the Armadillo and Chlamyphorus, which obtain their 



food, like the Megatherium, by digging in sandy and 
sun-scorched plains. 

We close our description of the Megatherium in the 
words of the eminent geologist already quoted : 

" The size of this extraordinary animal exceeds that 
of the existing Edentata, to which it is most nearly 
allied, in a greater degree than any other fossil animal 
exceeds its nearest living congeners. With the head 
and shoulders of a sloth, it combined in its legs and 
feet an admixture of the characters of the Ant-eater, 
the Armadillo, and the Chlamyphorus ; it probably also 
still further resembled the Armadillo and Chlamyphorus 
in being cased with a bony coat of armour. 

' ' Its haunches were more than five feet wide, and its 
body twelve feet long and eight feet high ; its feet were 
a yard in length, and terminated by most gigantic claws: 
its tail was probably clad in armour, and much larger 
than the tail of any other beast among extinct or living 
terrestrial mammalia. Thus heavily constructed and 
ponderously accoutred, it could neither run, nor leap, 
nor climb, nor burrow under the ground, and in all its 
movements must have been necessarily slow ; but what 
need of rapid locomotion to an animal whose occupation 
of digging roots for food was almost stationary? and 
what need of speed for flight from foes to a creature 
whose giant carcass was encased in an impenetrable 
cuirass, and who by a single pat of his paw, or lash of 
his tail, could in an instant have demolished the couguar 
or the crocodile ? Secure within the panoply of his 
bony armour, where was the enemy that would dare 
encounter this leviathan of the Pampas ? Or in what 
more powerful creature can we find the cause that has 
effected the extirpation of his race? 

" His entire frame was an apparatus of colossal 
mechanism adapted exactly to the work it had to do ; 
strong and ponderous in proportion as this work was 
heavy, and calculated to be the vehicle of life and 
enjoyment to a gigantic race of quadrupeds, which, 
though they have ceased to be counted among the living 
inhabitants of our planet, have, in their fossil bones, 
left behind them imperishable monuments of the con- 
summate skill with which they were constructed ; each 
limb, and fragment of a limb, forming co-ordinate parts 
of a well-adjusted and perfect whole ; and through all 
their deviations from the form and proportion of the 
limbs of other quadrupeds, affording fresh proofs of 
the infinitely varied and inexhaustible contrivances of 
creative wisdom." 

These are considerations which should never be for- 
gotten by the student of natural history. 

The family Megaiheriidce of Professor Owen includes 
several allied genera of huge Edentata, as the Megalonyx, 
the Mylodon, and the Scelidotherium, which are chiefly 
distinguished from the Megatherium by dental peculi- 
arities. Their fossil remains have all been discovered 
in the superficial stratum of the Pampas of South 

The Mylodon (i.e., Grinder-teeth) was an animal 
of gigantic sizo, with a short massive neck and a bulky 
body, like that of the rhinoceros, but in habit and gen- 
eral structure resembling the Megatherium. It had 
eighteen teeth five on each side in the upper, and four 
in the lower jaw ; they were long, simple, fangles?, 

uniform in substance, and nearly straight, with the 
exception of the first tooth in the upper jaw, which 
was slightly curved. From the conformation of its 
jaws, and its dental characteristics, this animal is sup- 
posed to have fed, like the elephant or the sloth, on 
the leaves or slender terminal twigs of trees, which its 
immense strength and the arrangement of its lower 
limbs enabled it to uproot and level to the ground. 

"They may be supposed, says Professor Owen, "to 
have commenced the process of prostrating any parti- 

Mylodon robustus. 

cular tree by scratching away the soil from the roots, 
for which office we find in the Mylodon the modern 
scansorial fore-feet of the sloth, modified after the type 
of that of the partially fossorial ant-eater. The com- 
pressed or subcompressed form of the claws which 
detracts from their power as burrowing instruments, 
adds to their fitness for penetrating the interspaces of 
roots, and for exposing and liberating them from the 
attached soil. This operation having been duly effected 
by the alternate action of the fore-foot, aided probably 
by the unguiculate digits of the hind feet, the long and 
curved fore-claws, which are habitually flexed and 
fettered in the movements of extension, would next 
be applied to the opposite sides of the loosened trunk 
of the tree, and now the Mylodon would derive the 
full advantage of these modifications of its fore-feet by 
which it resembles the Bradypus ; the correspondence 
in the structure of the prehensile instruments of the 
existing and extinct sloth, extending as far as was 
compatible with the different degrees of resistance to 
be overcome." 

In the small climbing sloth the claws are long and 
slender, for they have only to sustain the weight of its 
little body, which is approximated by the action of the 
muscles towards the grasped branch, as to a fixed point. 
The stouter proportions of the prehensile hooks of the 
Mylodon accord with the harder task of overcomi 



resistance of the part seized, and bringing it down to the 

For the long and slender branchial and anti-branchial 
bones of the climbing sloth we find substituted in its 
gigantic predecessor a humerus, radius, and ulna of 
more robust proportions ; of such proportions, indeed, 
in the Mylodon robustus, as are unequalled in any other 
known existing or extinct animal. 

The tree being thus partly undermined and firmly 
grappled with, the muscles of the trunk, the pelvis, and 
the hind limbs, animated by the nervous influence of 
the unusually large spinal chord, would combine their 
forces with those of the anterior members in the efforts 
at prostration. 

"And now," says Professor Owen, "let us picture 
to ourselves the massive frame of the Megatherium, 
convulsed with the mighty wrestling, every vibrating 
fibre reacting upon its bony attachment with a force 
which the sharp and strong crests and apophyses loudly 
bespeak. Extraordinary must have been the strength 
and proportions of that tree, which, rocked to and fro, 
to right and left, in such an embrace, could long with- 
stand the incessantly repeated efforts of its ponderous 

A complete skeleton of the Mylodon was discovered 
at Buenos Ayres. It measured eleven feet from the 
fore-part of the skull to the end of the tail. It probably 
belonged to a young individual. 

Our survey of the animal life of the Pleistocene 
period next brings us to the Glyptodon, another of the 
South American quadrupeds, covered, like the modern 
armadilloes, with a stout, tesselated, bony armour. In 
size it equalled the largest rhinoceros. It was, in fact, 
a colossal or magnified armadillo, which it resembled 
in its habits, food, and principal structural peculiarities. 
"Otherwise its armour," as a writer has pithily observed, 
'' would cover more than a score of armadilloes." 

It is obvious, however, putting aside the question of 
bulk, that the marked peculiarity of the Pleistocene 
period is the approximation of its forms of animal life 
to those of the present age. The megathere is the 
natural forerunner of the sloth ; the glyptodon of the 
armadillo ; the mammoth of the existing elephant ; the 
macrauchenia of the modem llama; and the mery- 
cothere of the camel. 

In the Eocene stage of the Quaternary epoch we find 
the fauna of Europe characterized by its palseotheres, 
anoplotheres, xiphodons, river-hogs, alligators, croco- 
diles, gavials, and turtles ; in the Pleiocene sub-period 
these decline, or become extinct, and their places are 
occupied by mastodons, mammoths, deinotheres, camels, 
giraffes, cave-bears, lions, and hyaenas. We come still 
pearer to what we may call the modern world, and in 
the Miocene period distinguish, as the principal forms 
of quadrupedal life, mammoths, hippopotami, rhino- 
ceroses, antelopes, wild oxen, tigers, bears, and horses. 
A similar gradation is noticeable in Asia, where the 
middle sub-period was characterized by numerous spe- 
cies of si vatheres, elephants, camels, lions, tigers, giraffes, 
crocodiles, and huge tortoises ; the upper period, by the 
horse, ass, urus, rhinoceros, and mammoth. The 
forms of North America are so like those of Europe as to 
suggest the existence of a closer communication between 

the two continents in those days than now obtains. 
In South America we ascend by a succession of similar 
stages to the megathere, the scelidothere, the megal- 
onyx, the mylodon, the glyptodon, and the macrauchene. 
The remarkable Marsupials of Australia were similarly 
anticipated by the gigantic Diprotodon ; the wingless 
birds of New Zealand by the Palsepteryx and the 
Dinornis ; and the African ostrich by the huge Epiornis 
of Madagascar. 

We shall close our sketches of the natural history 
of the primeval world with a glance at the last-named 
forms of animal life the wingless birds. 

The Dinornis* is a genus of large birds of the tribe 
Brevipennes. No species of it is now known to exist. 

Uinorni;, aud 

but its bones have been discovered in the upper Pk-io- 
cene deposits in New Zealand in caves, in marshes, 
in beds of rivers, and on the sandy shore. From 
certain traditions still current among the natives this 
bird would seem to have survived, along with its con- 
geners the PalsQpteryx and Aptornis, to the close of the 
seventeenth or beginning of the eighteenth century. 
Its New Zealand name is Moa. It is said to have 
baen hunted for the sake of its flesh and the beautiful 
feathers of its plumage. It was a stupid, lethargic 
bird, incapable of flight, and living upon vegetable food 
in the sequestered depths of the forests, or on the 
topmost crags of the mountains. In size it greatly 
exceeded any living bird, some of its bones being 
double the dimensions of those of the ostrich, while 
the body was even disproportionately bulkier. The 
legs were long, and the Dinornis probably stood 
* From ouicf. terrible ; ?nd r /nit , a bird. 



thirteen or fourteen feet in height. The framework 
of the leg is of a singularly massive character, and the 
entire skeleton is remarkable for its solidity. 

It was from the examination of a single bone of this 
strange bird that Professor Owen, in 1839, before any 
complete remains had been discovered, built up con- 
jecturally its entire structure, determined its most 
important characters, and assigned to it its true place 
in the scheme of nature an interesting proof of the 
value of comparative anatomy, and a strong testimony 
to the degree of perfection which that science has 

Several species have been distinguished, as Dln- 
ornis elephantopus, Dinornis ingens, and Dinwnis 

The Palcepteryx, or ancient Apteryx, is another 
genus of fossil birds whose remains have been dis- 
covered in the Pleiocene deposits of New Zealand. In 
the form of the sternum, and the structure of the legs 
and pelvis, it resembled the living Apteryx, a bird not 
unlike the penguin, about two feet in height, with 
merely rudimentary wings, and a very long, slender 
bill. The New Zealanders, in allusion to its peculiar 
cry, call it Kiu;i-lla-i, 

The Epiornis, a bird much larger than the ostrich, 
but of the same character, would seem to have been 
at one time indigenous to Madagascar, probably when 
that island was a portion of a vast eastern continent, 
long ago submerged. The eggs of this bird may 
possibly have suggested the fable of the roc's egg 
in the story of " Siubad the Sailor ;" for, from speci- 
mens brought to Europe, it is evident they were 
capacious enough to hold the contents of two hundred 
and forty hen's eggs of the ordinary size. 

The Quaternary epoch is that which geologists con- 
sider to have immediately preceded the great deluges. 
Sir Charles Lyell and some other men of scientific 
reputation prefer to call it the Post-Tertiary epoch, and 
they subdivide it into 

1. The Posf -Pleiocene period; 

2. The Recent, or Upper Post-Pleiocene. 
Whichever division or designation we adopt, it 

seems certain that after the Pleioceue period and before 
the creation of man intervened two remarkable periods; 
that of the European deluges, and that which is known 
as the Glacial. 

The Pleiocene period gradually declined in tempera- 
ture, until a climatic condition prevailed utterly incom- 
patible with the existence of the former fauna and 
flora. The animals and plants which succeeded 
belonged to genera capable of enduring a low tempera- 
ture, and finding subsistence on a frozen earth. 

Thus, in the accompanying illustration (Plate 10), 
we find the bear seated at the mouth of its den or 
cave, and gnawing the bones of the elephant. On the 
high ground above the Hyaena spelsea watches with 
savage eye the moment when it may pounce on the 
food thrown aside by its formidable rival. The great 
wood-stag, and other semi-gigantic animals of the 
epoch, stalk along the farthest shore of a narrow lake, 
where some small hills emerge from the valley, clothed 
with pine and fir and other hardy trees. Mountains of 
recent elevation lift their huge bulk against the horizon, 

wrapped in a shroud of frozen snow, to remind us that 
the Glacial period is approaching, and that its influence 
is already making itself felt. 

The most abundant fossil remains belonging to the 
Post-Pleiocene are those of the elephant and the horse. 
The extreme profusion of the bones of the mammoth, 
embedded in the latest deposits of the globe, is only 
surpassed, we are told, by the prodigious quantity of the 
bones of the horse, which lie buried in the same forma- 
tions. The extraordinary plenty of the remains of 
these two animals is a satisfactory proof that, during 
the Quaternary epoch, the earth was inhabited by these 
in immense herds. "It is probable that from one pole 
to the other, from the equator to the two extremities 
of the axis of the globe, the earth must have formed a 
vast and almost limitless prairie, overspread by a mag- 
nificent carpet of verdure. So abundant a pasturage 
would be absolutely needful for the support of these 
prodigious troops of herbivorous animals of great size." 

In the Western hemisphere we may conjecture that a 
more genial temperature prevailed than in the Eastern. 
Over its verdant plains, and under a warm and sunny 
sky, roamed gigantic pachyderms, colossal in propor- 
tions, but of harmless and gentle disposition. Some- 
times they would seek the shade of the primeval forest, 
and among the tall trees, festooned with parasites and 
creepers, would be gathered, perhaps, such a group as 
our artist has depicted in the accompanying illustration 
(Plate 11). Here we see the Glyptodon crawling to 
the water's edge, the huge Megatherium bringing down 
a tree that it may feed on its tender shoots and succu- 
lent buds, the elephant meditating in the cool shades ; 
while, undaunted by the immediate neighbourhood of 
the gigantic Mastodon, a couple of monkeys are dis- 
porting themselves among the herbage. A small ape, 
the Cercopithecus, which first made its appearance in 
the Miocene period, is climbing a pliant stem with 
wonderful agility. The vegetation is identical with 
that which flourishes in tropical America at the present 

In upon all this abundant life broke so far, at least, 
as the Old Continent was concerned a succession of 
terrible and destructive deluges, produced, perhaps, by 
the sudden upheaval of some vast extent of dry land, 
by the formation of some mountain or mountain-range 
in the vicinity of the sea, or by the elevation of some 
portion of the sea-bed itself. These commotions would 
necessarily pour a vast body of water over the earth, 
with extraordinary violence; inundating the plains, 
filling up the valleys, sweeping away the grove, the 
wood, and the forest, and spreading everywhere ruin 
and destruction. A recent writer observes that of two 
such deluges in one hemisphere there is indisputable 
evidence, and he names them the European and the 
Asiatic. The former occurred before, and the latter 
after, man's creation. The former consisted in fact of 
two cataclysms; of which the first occurred in the north 
of Europe, through the upheaval of the Scandinavian 
mountains. "Commencing," he says, "in Scandinavia, 
the torrent spread and carried its ravages into the regions 
now known as Sweden, Norway, European Russia, and 
Northern Germany, sweeping before it all the shifting 
soil on the surface, and covering the whole of Scandi- 


navia, all the plains and valleys of Northern Europe, 
with a diluvial deposit. As the districts where this 
vast mountainous elevation took place, and the seas 
surrounding them, were partially frozen and clothed 
in ice, owing to their elevation and neighbourhood to 
the pole, the flood which devastated them swept along 
with it enormous masses of ice. The shock produced 
by their collision would serve to increase the extent 
and intensity of the ravages occasioned by this awful 

The second European deluge originated, it is sup- 
posed, in the formation and upheaval of the Alps, 
filling with ruin and wreck the great valleys of France, 
Germany, and Italy, which radiate from those huge 
mountain masses as from a central point. 

To dwell on these events would carry us too far 
from the immediate purpose of the present work. 
They belong to the province of the geologist, rather 
than to that of the naturalist. Some notice of the 
changes undergone by the primeval world was, indeed, 
indispensable, to explain to the reader the changes 
which took place at different epochs in the primeval 
Jauna; but we must now draw to a conclusion our 
brief and desultory observations. 

We find, thus, that in the last scene of this strange, 
eventful history the Glacial period "the entire range 
of animated nature, the evolution of animals, was then 
suddenly arrested in that part of our hemisphere over 
which those gigantic convulsions spread ; followed by 
the brief but sudden submersion of entire continents. 
Organic life had scarcely recovered from this awful 
blow, before it was assailed by a second and, perhaps, 
a severer. All Northern and Central Europe all the 
wide region extending from Scandinavia to the Medi- 

terranean and the Danube were suddenly visited by 
a period of excessive cold ; were seized within the 
numbing grasp of an arctic atmosphere. The plains 
of Europe, ornamented only a short time before by the 
luxuriant vegetation of a tropical climate the boundless 
pastures where herds of elephants, the nimble horse, 
the robust hippopotamue, and the great carnivorous 
animals roamed, and made war against each other were 
covered all at once with a shroud of ice and snow." 

The phenomenon is variously explained, but the fact 
is, human knowledge is unable to propose any satis- 
factory explanation. It was probably the result of a 
combination of causes, among which a sudden disturb- 
ance of the parallelism of the axis of rotation may have 
occupied a foremost rank. All we know is and this 
the earth itself sufficiently demonstrates that such a 
phenomenon actually took place, and in many a 
European valley we can trace the progress of the vast 
masses of ice and the huge glaciers which it originated 
and set in motion. We can observe how they smoothed, 
and polished, and striated the rocks over which they 
passed. Enormous boulders, or erratic blocks, lying 
at great distances from their ancient positions, are 
mute but eloquent memorials of the Glacial period 
the Age of Ice. How long it lasted we cannot even 
guess, but after a while after a lapse of years which 
to man might seem an eternity, but to the Creator 
was only as a moment the earth resumed its normal 
temperature, the grasses sprang afresh over plain and 
valley, the trees once more waved in numerous forests, 
animal life again appeared on the surface of the globe, 






WHEN the immortal Cuvier published his new arrange- 
ment of the Animal Kingdom, he divided all animals 
into four principal sections, which we still find adopted, 
with some modifications, by most naturalists. The 
changes which have been made in the contents of 
these great divisions, in accordance with the progress 
of zoological science since the death of the great 
French comparative anatomist, have principally affected 
the three lower groups established by him, and the 
limits of his first and highest division of animals, that 
of the Vertebrata, have remained without alteration. 
This, indeed, is no more than might have been ex- 
pected. The vertebrate animals are those whose 
existence has always, from various circumstances, been 
pressed most forcibly upon the notice of mankind. 
Vertebrate animals furnish the greater part of our 
Jaily food, and amongst them are to be found our 
most dangerous enemies, so that the mere instinct of 
self-preservation must have early led even the uncivi- 
lized man almost unconsciously to the study of their 
natural history. Hence, the knowledge of the differ- 
ences and agreements in the structure of these crea- 
tures had made great progress, even in the popular 
mind, at a period when the greatest philosophers 
knew little of the remainder of the animal kingdom ; 
and Linnaeus, in dividing the whole of animated 
nature into six classes, gave no fewer than four to the 
creatures which we now distinguish as Vertebrata. 

The name of Vertebrata or Vertebrate animals, given 
to this great section of the Animal Kingdom, has 
reference to one of its principal characters, namely, the 
possession of a backbone (spine or vertebral column), 
composed of numerous joints (vertebrae) attached firmly 
to each other, but in such a way as, in most cases, to 
insure more or less flexibility. 

The office of this bony column is twofold. In the 
first place, by its enlargement into the hollow case 
called the skull, and by the presence of apertures in 
each of its joints, which, when placed in their proper 
position, form a continuous tube or canal running 
down the back of the animal it furnishes a protection 
for the brain and spinal marrow (spinal cord), the 
VOL. I. 

great centre of the nervous system, which in these 
creatures attains a high degree of development In 
the second place, by affording support to numerous 
other bones, varying in form and arrangement accord- 
ing to the duties they have to perform, it consti- 
tutes the centre of the skeleton of these animals a sort 
of bony framework which at the same time serves 
to protect the more important internal organs, and 
to furnish solid points of attachment for the muscles 
by which the movements of the various parts are 

This framework of bones consists, in addition to 
the skull and spinal column already referred to, of the 
ribs, and of the bones of the limbs the former, as is 
well known, constituting a series of long curved bones 
which inclose the cavity of the chest, and are for the 
most part movably articulated to the vertebrae on each 
side. The opposite extremities of the ribs are also 
usually united to a single bone, which occupies the 
centre of the anterior or inferior surface of the chest, 
called the breastbone (or sternum) ; and in most air- 
breathing Vertebrata the whole framework of the chest 
is capable of moving by the action of the muscles 
attached to the ribs, in such a manner as to increase 
or diminish the size of the cavity inclosed by them, 
thus causing the lungs to be alternately filled with 
and emptied of the air necessary for respiration. The 
vertebrae which bear the ribs are usually distinguished 
by several peculiarities of construction from those of 
the other parts of the spinal column ; they are called 
dorsal vertebra, or vertebrae of the back; those in 
front of them, forming the neck, are called cervical 
vertebrae, and those behind them, which are usually 
of great size, are called lumbar vertebrae, or vertebrae of 
the loins. The latter are followed by the vertebrae 
which support the hinder extremities ; and these again, 
in most of these animals, by a number of vertebrae, 
gradually diminishing in size and completeness, which 
form the tail. These are the caudal vertebrae. 

Of limbs in the Vertebrata there are never more 
than two pairs. The anterior limbs are usually attached 
to the body by being articulated to a pair of flat bones 



called the shoulder-blades, which lie upon the ribs, 
and are kept in their proper position partly by the 
action of powerful muscles, and partly by the support 
afforded them by one or two pairs of bones which spring 
from the front of the breast-bone ; these bones are often 
wanting. The hinder extremities, on the contrary, 
are usually articulated to a strong bony ring or basin 
(the pelvis) which is firmly attached to the vertebral 
column below the loins; the vertebrae of this part of the 
spine being also completely united to each other, so as 
to form a single bony piece (the sacrum}. 

In the essential structure of the limbs there is a 
wonderful uniformity throughout the whole of this 
great group of animals. Each limb consists of four 
distinct parts, which correspond exactly in the anterior 
and hinder extremities, although, in conformity with 
the usages of human anatomists, they have received 
different names in the two pairs. In the fore-limb 
the bones are the arm-bone, the two bones of the 
fore-arm, the bones of the wrist, and those of the 
hand; in the hind-limb they are the thigh-bone, the 
two bones of the shank, the heel-bonee, and those of 
the foot. The arm-bone and thigh-bone (humerus and 
femur) articulate respectively with the shoulder-blade 
and pelvis ; they are single bones, usually of a cylin- 
drical form. The fore-arm and the shank include two 
parallel bones (called the ulna and radius in the arm, 
the tibia and fibula in the leg), one of which, in each 
member (the ulna and the tibia), is united by a hinge- 
like joint with the lower extremity of the arm or 
thigh-bone, forming the elbow or the knee. The 
other bones (radius and fibula) are scarcely, if at all, 
attached at this joint ; they are consequently capable 
of rotating to a certain extent, and thus enable the 
hand or foot to be turned in various directions. It 
is to the broad extremity of these latter bones that 
those of the wrist and heel (carpal and tarsal bones) 
are attached; these are numerous short bones, packed 
closely together, but still capable of a greater or less 
freedom of motion. They are followed by the bones of 
the hand and foot (metacarpal, metatarsal, and digital 
bones), which frequently form five rays of three or 
four joints in each, starting from the wrist or heel. 
Of these the metacarpal and the metatarsal bones 
'constitute the palm of the hand and the sole of the 
foot in man; the digital bones, which are also called 
phalanges, form the fingers and toes. 

It is not to be supposed, however, that all these 
parts present themselves to our notice with equal 
distinctness in every creature formed upon what is 
called by naturalists the vertebrate type; in fact, we 
meet with an almost endless variety of modifications in 
the different regions of the body, but especially in the 
limbs; and the study of these modifications, of the 
wonderful series of changes, by which the Creator of 
all things, submitting himself, as it were, to a self- 
imposed law, has adapted the same general type of 
structure to the most dissimilar purposes, is not only 
one of the most interesting branches of zoology, but 
also one of the most striking proofs furnished by 
natural theology of the prevalence of an intelligent 
design in Animated Nature. 

It is the business of the philosophical anatomist to 
investigate these marvellous modifications of structure; 
to trace the plan by which the same organs have been 
adapted to the most different offices, and to endeavour, 
by deducing therefrom the abstract or ideal form from 
which all the special structures presented to our obser- 
vation may be derived by variations in the degree of 
development of the different parts, to obtain a type 
with which things, apparently the most dissimilar, may 
be compared : and thus to enter, as it were, into the 
mind of the great Designer of the universe. It is, how- 
ever, unnecessary here to dwell at any length upon this 
most interesting branch of science, and we shall there- 
fore content ourselves with giving a very brief abstract 
of the general results which have been obtained by 
much earnest thought on the part of some of the great- 
est minds of the present century. 

According to the generally received views, the 
skeleton of a vertebrate animal is composed of 
numerous segments or vertebrae (the latter term being 
used in an ideal sense). Even the skull itself is proved 
to consist of several vertebrae developed in a remark- 
able manner the bones of the face holding the same 
relation to those of the true skull, that the ribs do to 
the superior arch of the dorsal vertebras through which 
the spinal cord passes. The four limbs are appendages 
of two particular vertebral segments; and similar appen- 
dages are met with in a rudimentary form upon other 
segments in some animals. 

Regarding the skeleton in accordance with these 
views, as consisting ideally of a series of similar seg- 
ments, we find that it is by the suppression of. certain 
parts of some of these, and the greater or less develop- 
ment of others, that the varied forms of vertebrate 
animals are produced. The appendages constituting 
the limbs are, as already stated, usually suppressed 
completely in all but two segments, and the ribs often 
share the same fate in the neck, loins, and tail. In 
other cases the bones of one or both pairs of limbs are 
wanting, and in some of the lowest forms we find nothing 
left but the vertebral column itself, which sometimes 
is not even ossified, but consists of a gelatinous or car- 
tilaginous cord, running, with little or no trace of any 
division into vertebrae, from the head to the extremity 
of the tail. 

Yet throughout all these variations the intelligent 
observer traces one uniform plan : the great centre of 
the nervous system always consists of a brain and 
spinal cord, supported in all but one instance, by a 
structure which may be recognized as a vertebral 
column; the jaws are always supported by bones or 
cartilage beneath the skull, and their opening is always 
horizontal; the limbs are never more than four in 
number ; the heart is always muscular, and connected 
with a distinct system of vessels, through which courses 
a blood, coloured red by innumerable globules; and 
the organs of the four special senses (sight, hearing, 
smell, and taste) are almost always highly developed, 
and invariably placed in cavities of the face and head. 
The viscera are very similar in their nature throughout 
the entire group, and the animals are always male or 
female, never hermaphrodite. 



IN whatever light we consider the general arrange- 
ment of the animal kingdom, the Mammalia must 
always occupy the highest place in the system. Both 
in complexity of organization and in general intelli- 
gence, the members of this class, which even includes 
our own species, bear the palm from all other animals ; 
and, if we descend to purely utilitarian views, it is 
amongst the ranks of the Mammalia that we must seek 
for all the most valuable of those creatures which have 
been in every age most serviceable to the human race, 
and have contributed most importantly to the progress 
of civilization. The noble and generous horse, who 
lends his back to the burden and his neck to the yoke 
with equal readiness ; the brave and faithful dog, the 
constant friend and companion of man in all countries, 
and his firm ally in the subjugation of other animals ; 
the camel, the far-famed " ship of the desert," without 
whose patient endurance and great strength the vast 
sandy plains of Africa and the desert steppes of central 
Asia, would have presented a more serious obstacle 
than even the ocean itself to the intercourse of the 
eastern nations ; the cattle and sheep which constitute 
the riches of pastoral tribes, and without which an 
advanced civilization would be almost an impossibility: 
these are only a few of the important species of the 
class Mammalia, which have been in all times subjected 
to the dominion of man. We may seek in vain in any 
other class of animals for even a single species that 
may be compared with one of these. 

Notwithstanding the great importance of the Mam- 
malia, however, we have no English word to express 
the whole class, although the great majority of them 
may come under the denomination of beasts. The 
term quadrupeds, which also applies to the majority, 
is likewise inadmissible, both because it is equally 
applicable to many reptiles, and because some true 
Mammalia are not furnished with four feet. We are 
therefore reduced to the employment of the term mam- 
mals, to express the animals now under consideration 
in a general sense; as this term, derived from the 
Latin word mamma, a breast or teat, expresses the 
leading peculiarity by which these creatures are dis- 
tinguished from all other animals namely, that of 
nourishing their young, which are born alive, by means 
of a secretion produced by certain glands placed on the 
chest or abdomen of the mother.* 

Independently of the physiological characters derived 
from the viviparous reproduction and the provision of 
milk for the nourishment of the young, which prevail 
in all the animals of this class, we find in other points 
of their structure an abundance of peculiarities sy 

* The Germans have the expressive term Saugethiere, or 
sucking animals, for this class. The term Hammifires, or teat- 
bearers, is in ordinary use amongst French writers, and of 
course refers to the same character as the term Mammalia here 
adopted. The name Piliferes, applied to the class by De Blain- 
ville, in allusion to the hairy covering of most of the species, 
has never been much made use of. 

which they may readily be distinguished from the rest 
of the Vertebrata. They ah 1 breathe air by means of 
lungs, consisting of a minutely cellular structure, sus- 
pended freely in the cavity of the chest, and uncon- 
nected with any air-tubes or sacs penetrating the other 
organs of the body, as in Birds. The chest is separated 
from the abdominal cavity by a muscular and ten- 
dinous partition called the diaphragm, th,e movement of 
which, by enlarging the cavity of the chest, is one 
principal cause of the inspiration of air. The heart 
contains four cavities, two ventricles. for the propulsion 
of the blood through the arteries, and two auricles for 
its reception from the veins ; this character is common 
to the Mammalia and Birds. The mouth is closed by 
fleshy lips, which are almost always movable ; and the 
skin, with but few exceptions, is more or less covered 
with hair. 

The structure of the skeleton also furnishes most 
important characters in this, as in other classes of ver- 
tebrata. The bones are, for the most part, destitute of 
air-cells, and where these exist, they do not communi- 
cate with the lungs. Most of the bones are solid, and 
those which possess cavities (such as the thigh-bones 
and arm-bones) have them filled with a peculiar fatty 
substance, well known as marrow. Air cavities in the 
bones are usually confined to the head, where they are 
commonly known as sinuses ; these attain a great deve- 
lopment in the ruminating quadrupeds, such as the 
sheep and deer, and in the elephant the great size of 
the skull is mainly due to the large air-cells which 
separate the two faces of the cranial bones. 

The body of a mammal is usually divided into three 
portions the head, neck, and trunk ; and these are, in 
most cases, clearly distinguishable even in the living 
animal. In the skeleton, as will be seen by a glance 
at plates 32, 33, 34, they are still more strongly marked, 
and we find that in this we may again divide the bones 
of the trunk into several distinct systems namely, the 
dorsal vertebrae, with the ribs ; the lumbar vertebras, 
forming the loins ; and the sacrum, bearing the sup- 
porting arch of the hinder extremities ; beyond which 
the vertebral column is usually continued into a gra- 
dually decreasing series of vertebrse, forming the tail. 

The skull, including all the bones of the head, pre- 
sents the following leading characters in mammals : 
The cranium, or true skull, containing the cavity fo* 
the reception of the brain, is of larger comparative size 
in these than in any other Vertebrata ; its bones are 
immovably connected with each other, and with those 
of the upper jaw and face, a character which is pecu- 
liar to these animals. The occipital bone, which forms 
the base of the skull, and is perforated by the large 
aperture fur the passage of the spinal cord, bears a 
pair of articulating tubercles by which the skull is 
attached to the first vertebra of the neck. The upper 
jaw is formed by two maxillary and two intermaxillary 
bones, which bear teeth in a single row along their 



margins. The two halves of the lower jaw consist 
each of a single bone ; they are united in front either 
by a cartilage or by a suture, or sometimes, as in 
man, the two sides of the jaw are completely amal- 
gamated so as to form one bony piece. The lower jaw 
in the Mammalia is articulated directly to the skull, 
without the intervention of any other movable bone. 

The jaws, as already intimated, are furnished with 
teeth, and these exhibit a great diversity in their form 
and structure. They are always implanted in sockets 
of the jaws, and these are lined by a delicate mem- 
brane, so that the teeth are never anchylosed or com- 
pletely united to the bone of the jaws. The teeth 
consist of a hard substance called dentine, defended by 
a coating of enamel, and covered by a layer of a third 
substance called cement. The latter is vry thin on the 
crown or exposed portion of the tooth in man and 
many animals, which have teeth similar to those of the 
human species ; but in the teeth of many herbivorous 
mammals- the cement acquires a great development, 
and vertical folds of this substance and enamel penetrate 
the dentine of the crown, thus giving rise, as the teeth 
are worn away, to an uneven surface eminently adapted 
to the comminution of tough vegetable matters. 

A few species are entirely destitute of teeth; in 
others a few of the teeth are wanting, or some of 
them undergo peculiar modifications to adapt them to 
particular purposes. But in the majority we find four 
dilferent sets of teeth called respectively the incisors, 
or cutting teeth ; the canines ; the premolars, or false 
molars ; and the molars, or grinders. The incisors or 
cutting teeth are inserted in the intermaxillary bones 
in the upper jaw, and occupy the corresponding place 
in the lower one. Their number varies from two to 
ten, and their form is also subject to much diversity; 
but they are usually flattened transversely, so as to 
form a cutting edge across the front of each jaw. 

The canines, se called from their large size in the 
dog, are also very large in all carnivorous mammals. 
In the human subject the upper ones are frequently 
called eye-teeth, from their being placed directly 
beneath the eyes. Of the canines we find one on each 
side in each jaw ; the upper ones are inserted at the 
anterior angles of the maxillary bones, and the lower 
ones in a corresponding position in the lower jaw. When 
most largely developed, they form long, curved, conical, 
acute teeth, capable of inflicting the most serious 

The premolars, which are usually three or four in 
number on each side, are generally separated by a 
short interval from the canines, which they frequently 
resemble in having only a single root ; their crown is 
usually broad and tubercular or ridged, in a manner 
more or less resembling that of the true molars. The 
latter, of which there are also commonly three or four 
on each side, are the largest and strongest of all the 
teeth, and are implanted in the jaws by two or more 
roots, a character peculiar to the Mammalia, and one 
which is often of the greatest importance to the 
palaeontologist in determining the nature of those fossil 
remains by which a certain light has been thrown upon 
the former history of our planet. The molars, of all 
the teeth, are those which appear to undergo the 

greatest amount of modification to fit them to the 
habits and food of the animals. In the carnivorous 
forms we find them furnished with sharp cutting edges, 
and fitting together like the blades of a pair of scissors ; 
in those which prey principally upon insects, whose 
hard and slippery armour renders them rather difficult 
to be disposed of, the molars are furnished with a 
double row of sharp points, from which even the hard- 
est beetle could not find it easy to escape ; in those 
which, like the monkeys and our own species, feed 
upon fruits or upon a mixed diet of soft animal and 
vegetable substances, the crowns of the molars are of a 
more or less cubical form, with the surface divided into 
several blunt tubercles by furrows which traverse it in 
different directions ; and lastly, the strictly herbivorous 
species usually present an intermixture or alternation 
of the three substances of which the teeth are com- 
posed, such as produces a series of ridges upon their 
surface, as they are gradually worn down during the 
trituration of the food. 

The teeth are produced from a pulpy germ or matrix 
contained within the jaw, and in the majority of the 
Mammalia the activity of this germ continues after it 
has served for the formation of the series of teeth first 
produced. These, which are commonly known as the 
milk-teeth, are shed at a certain period of life, when 
their places are taken by new teeth adapted to the 
increased size of the jaw. The milk-teeth include the 
incisors, the canines, and three or four molars on each 
side ; the two former groups are replaced by new 
incisors and canines ; the deciduous molars are shed 
to make room for the premolars, whilst the true molars 
are produced later than the other teeth, and are never 
changed. The teeth of the Mammalia are never shed 
more than once; but, in some forms, the formative 
pulps of some of the permanent teeth continue in 
activity during the whole life of the animals, and thus 
the teeth are constantly growing at the root. As these 
modifications of the teeth are usually characteristic 
of certain orders of Mammalia, they will be more 
particularly referred to hereafter, when the beautiful 
adaptation of their structure to the habits of the ani- 
mals will be more clearly seen. 

The general structure of the skeleton will not detain 
us long, as it nearly agrees with that already described 
(pp. 1, 2), as the most perfect development of the verte- 
brate type. The vertebral column, or back-bone, as it 
is usually termed, is divided into several regions, as has 
been already stated : these are called the cervical, 
dorsal, lumbar, and sacral regions, or the regions of the 
neck, back, loins, and sacrum ; and the continuation of 
the vertebral column into the tail, when this exists, 
constitutes the caudal region. The same names are 
applied to the vertebrae composing each region. 

Of the cervical vertebrae there are almost invariably 
seven ; and this is the only region of the body in which 
the number of vertebrae is at all constant,* Whatever 
may be the length of the neck in these animals, the 
number of the vertebrae is the same ; the short neck 

* The only exceptions to this rule are presented by the 
Sloths, in which the neck contains eight or nine vertebra : 
and by the Southern Manatee (Manattu austrcdis}, which 
usually has only six cervical vertebra. 


of the human subject, and the enormously long one of 
the giraffe, each contain seven vertebrae, although the 
one constitutes only one-seventh and the other three- 
sevenths of the entire vertebral column. In the whales 
the vertebrae of this region of the body are completely 
united together, to form a single bone. Except in the 
sloths, all the cervical vertebrae are destitute of ribs, 
and the spinous processes gradually increase in height 
as we recede from the head. The first two vertebrae, 
however, in the Mammalia, present peculiarities of 
structure which have obtained them distinct names in 
all systems of anatomy. The first, called the atlas, 
forms a bony ring, bearing on its upper surface a pair 
of cuplike depressions for the reception of the promi- 
nent condyles or articulating tubercles of the base of 
the skull (see p. 3) ; by means of this articulation the 
head is enabled to move up and down. The second 
vertebra is called the axis, from its possessing a peculiar 
process which projects forward into the ring of the first, 
and articulates with a flat surface on the inside of its 
anterior part. By this arrangement the rotatory move- 
ment of the head is effected. 

The dorsal vertebrae are usually thirteen in number ; 
but this general rule is liable to many exceptions. The 
foremost dorsal vertebrae usually have their upper 
spinous processes greatly developed, especially in ani- 
mals possessing long necks or heavy heads ; these 
processes and those of the posterior cervical vertebrae 
give attachment to a strong ligament (the nuchal liga- 
ment), which powerfully aids in supporting the head, 
and in some animals is continued backward as far as 
the loins. The dorsal vertebrae are distinguished from 
the rest by their bearing the articulating surfaces for 
the ribs, which are confined to this region of the body. 
The ribs are long, usually slender, curved bones, which 
articulate by their heads with the bodies of two verte- 
brae, and are nearly always supported by a tubercle 
against the transverse processes of the hinder of these. 
The anterior or true ribs are united by cartilaginous 
pieces with the sternum or breast-bone, which occupies 
the centre of the anterior or lower part of the chest. 
Behind these are some shorter ribs, commonly known 
as false or floating ribs, which are never united directly 
with the sternum, but only by the intermediation of a 
common cartilaginous band. 

Of the lumbar vertebrae there are usually six or 
seven, but the number varies from two to nine. They 
are usually larger in the body than the dorsal vertebrae, 
and the lateral processes are often greatly developed ; 
they are distinguished from the dorsal vertebrae by the 
absence of ribs, and of the surfaces for the attachment 
of the latter. Behind the lumbar region comes the 
sacrum, a single bony piece, which sometimes con- 
sists of only one vertebra, but is usually composed 
of three or four amalgamated together, bearing traces 
of its compound nature in the apertures which indicate 
the original points of separation of the distinct vertebrae. 
This bone gives a firm attachment to the pelvis, or 
supporting arch of the hinder limbs,, which will be 
described in treating of those members. The caudal 
vertebrae are usually numerous, amounting to as many 
as forty-six in the long-tailed mariis. The smallest 
number of distinct joints is four ; but in the human 

species, and in some others, the caudal region of the 
vertebral column is reduced to a mere rudiment. 

The structure of the limbs is nearly identical with 
the description of the typical conformation of the 
extremities of the vertebrata already given. The 
anterior limbs are always present in mammals ; the 
posterior are sometimes deficient. The former are 
articulated to a shoulder-blade or scapula, Q, a flat 
and somewhat triangular bone, usually provided with 
a strong ridge on its upper surface, which lies amongst 
the muscles upon the anterior ribs. The shoulder- 
blades are frequently supported in their position by 
collar-bones or clavicles, which spring from the fore 
part of the sternum, and at the opposite extremity 
articulate with the lower part of the shoulder-blade. 
These, however, are sometimes wanting, or imperfectly 
developed. The coracoid bones, which form an im- 
portant part of the supporting arch of the anterior 
members in Birds and Reptiles, constituting, in fact, a 
second and even more powerful pair of collar-bones, 
only occurs in its full development in one small group 
of mammals ; in the rest it is reduced to a rudimentary 
condition and amalgamated with the shoulder-blade, 
of which it forms a small process. 

The anterior limb itself usually consists, as previously 
stated, of the arm-bone or humerus, R ; the radius and 
ulna, s, T ; the carpus or wrist, u ; the metacarpus or 
hand, v ; and the fingers, w. These parts all undergo 
great modifications, not only as regards their form and 
comparative size, but also by the amalgamation, or 
total suppression of some of their subordinate consti- 
tuents. Thus, in the monkeys, Plate 34, fig. Ill, we 
generally find all the parts fully developed, and almost 
equal in perfection to the same parts in man ; in the 
carnivorous beasts, Plate 33, fig. 105, the various por- 
tions of the apparatus are still very distinct, but the 
great mobility they possess in man and the monkeys is 
already considerably diminished, to adapt the limbs to 
the purposes of terrestrial progression ; in the seals, 
Plate 34, fig. 114, and the cetacea, Plate 34, fig. 109, we 
still recognize the same parts, but with their mutual 
powers of motion still further limited, to fit them to act 
as paddles in the water. The ant-eater and the sloth, 
Plate 33, fig. 107, and Plate 34, fig. 112, also exhibit the 
same structure, modified in its details to suit particular 
purposes, and in the latter case displaying a diminution 
in the number of fingers. With the exception of the 
aquatic seal and dugong, all the animals to which we 
have hitherto referred are either terrestrial or arboreal 
in their habits; but in the bats, Plate 34, fig. 110, we 
find the anterior limbs adapted for the purpose of flight. 
In these the arm-bone, R, is not very disproportionately 
elongated, but the bones of the fore-arm, s, the meta- 
carpal bones, v, and the phalanges or finger-bones, w. 
are of immense length, and these, by stretching a j 
leathery membrane which unites them, enable the bats 
to raise themselves into the air, and to fly through that 
element with great swiftness. 

In the terrestrial animals to which we have already 
referred, the radius and ulna were still capable of a 
certain amount of rotatory motion, although not to the 
extent presented by the monkeys. In the herbivorous 
terrestrial mammals, the toes are terminated by hoofs, 



by which means the feet are at once admirably adapted 
for long-continued and swift motion, and completely 
deprived of all prehensile power. The faculty of 
turning the fore-foot, consequently, becomes unneces- 
sary, and we find, accordingly, that in the hoofed 
animals, the radius is reduced to a perfectly rudi- 
mentary condition, or amalgamated with the ulna, or 
altogether suppressed. In the hog, fig. 108, Plate 33, 
the metacarpal bones and phalanges, of which we find 
four series, remain distinct, but only the two middle toes 
reach the ground; the others terminating in the two 
little hoofs which project from the 'back of the foot in 
this animal. In the sheep, fig. 103, Plate 33, the amal- 
gamation and suppression go still further ; for here 
] we find only one metacarpal bone and two toes, each 
1 covered by a hoof. In the horse, again, even the second 
toe is suppressed, and with the exception of the wrist, 
the whole limb is essentially composed of a single series 
of bones placed end to end. Thus, from the beautiful 
and delicate organization of the human hand, an organ 
capable of performing the most varied functions, down 
to the single toe of the horse, incased in a solid horny 
hoof, we find an uninterrupted series of steps, by trac- 
ing which we may see clearly how the great Designer, 
by merely modifying a single original plan, has pro- 
duced creatures destined to play the most various parts 
in the grand economy of nature. And although we 
may attribute greater perfection to one form than to 
another, it must be remembered that such expressions 
are purely conventional, and that each creature, incom- 
plete as the development of some of its parts may 
appear when compared with the same parts in other 
animals, is in reality as perfect, and as perfectly 
adapted to the purpose for which it was created, as any 
other; indeed, those very modifications of structure, 
which, at the first glance, would seem to be imperfec- 
tions, are found, by careful study, to constitute beauties 
instead of blemishes in the great spectacle of nature. 

We find the same structure, and the same modifica- 
tions of structure, in the posterior as in the anterior 
limbs ; but in these the mode of attachment to the rest 
of the skeleton is usually ot far greater strength and 
solidity. The bones of the pelvis, which here take the 
place of the shoulder-blades and collar-bones, are 
immovably fixed to the sacrum ; and, although in the 
embryo, and sometimes in the young mammal, there 
are three of these bones on each side, in the mature 
animal these are all completely united together; in 
most cases, also, the two sides of the pelvis are firmly 
united in the median line below, so as to form a strong 
but irregular ring of bone. 

Near the middle of each side of this ring is the socket 
for the articulation of the thigh-bone or femur, H, which 
is usually a long, cylindrical bone with a nearly glo- 
bular head, set on it almost at a right angle. Below 
this, at the knee-joint, are articulated the tibia and 
fibula, or shank-bones, J, K ; and these are followed 
by the tarsus, L, including the heel, the metatarsus, M, 
and the phalanges of the toes, N. The correspondence 
of these bones with those of the anterior limb, will be 
at once seen by a glance at the figures of the skeletons, 
Plates 32, 33, 34 ; and these also show clearly that the 
modifications already described as occurring in the fore- 

leg, are accompanied by corresponding changes in the 
hinder extremities. The only mammals in which the 
hinder limbs are wanting are the Cetacea (whales, etc.), 
and in these the pelvis is represented by a pair of 
bones, united below in the form of the letter V, and 
suspended in the muscles below the sacrum, fig. 1 D. 

The classification of the Mammalia still generally 
adopted, and the one which will be followed in the 
present work, is founded, with some important modifi- 
cations, upon that of Cuvier, which in its turn was a 
great improvement upon the system proposed by Lin- 
naeus. The great Swedish naturalist divided the Mam- 
malia into seven orders, distributed in three primary 
sections, called unguiculata, or clawed mammals ; 
ungulata, or hoofed mammals ; and mutica, or maimed 
mammals. The last section includes only the order 
CETE, formed by the whales and allied forms, in which 
as has already been stated, the hinder limbs are wanting. 
The hoofed mammals form two orders the PECORA, 
or cattle, including the ruminating quadrupeds, and the 
BELLU^E, those which do not chew the cud. Of the 
four orders of clawed mammals, the first or PRIMATES, 
distinguished by having two pectoral mammse, and by 
certain characters of the teeth, includes the human 
species, the monkeys and their allies, and the bats ; the 
second, BRUTA, in which the incisor teeth are wanting, 
is formed by the sloths, ant-eaters, and allied species ; 
the third, FER.S:, includes the carnivorous mammals ; 
and the fourth, GLIRES, those which, like the rat and 
the rabbit, have two chisel-like incisors in each jaw. 

Cuvier, following the general arrangement of Lin- 
naeus, also adopts the same indications of a division of 
the class Mammalia into three primary groups. But 
in the Cuvierian system we find no order Primates ; 
and the species of which this Linnsean group is com- 
posed are distributed into three orders. Man, as the 
highest type of organization, is placed in a distinct 
order, called BIMANA, or " two-handed ;" the monkeys 
and their allies form a second order, that of the QUAD- 
RUMANA, " four-handed ;" and the bats are associated 
with the greater part of the Linnsean Feres, to form 
Cuvier's order of Carnassiers or CARNIVORA. Another 
portion of the Ferce of the great Swede were, however, 
separated by Cuvier, on account of certain singularities 
in their organization and mode of reproduction, to form 
the order of Marsupiaux or MARSUPIALIA, so called 
from the females having an abdominal pouch in which 
the young are protected for some time after their birth. 
Two other unguiculate orders are admitted by Cuvier. 
These are called Rongeurs, EODENTIA (gnawers), and 
Edentes or EDENTATA (toothless mammals), by the 
French naturalist, and correspond with the Glires and 
Bruta of Linnaeus. Cuvier's two orders of hoofed 
quadrupeds, the Pachydermes or PACHYDERMATA, 
and the Ruminants or RUMINANTIA, correspond with 
the Linnsean groups Belluce and Pecora, and both 
systems are closed by the whales, etc., which form 
Cuvier's order of Cetac'es or CETACEA. 

The most important new feature in Cuvier's classifi- 
cation of the Mammalia consists in the establishment 
of the order Marsupialia. These singular animals which, 
with the exception of the American opossums, are con- 
fined to Australia and the adjacent countries, are dis- 


tingnished from the rest of the mammals by the very 
imperfect condition in which the young are born. In 
the ordinary mammals, when the embryo has attained 
a certain degree of development, a vascular body called 
the placenta is produced, by which the union of the 
young animal with the mother is greatly increased. 
This organ is never formed in the animals arranged by 
Cnvier in his order Marsupialia ; their young are pro- 
duced in an almost embryonic state, and the mother is 
usually furnished with an abdominal pouch containing 
the teats, which serves as a protection to the young 
animals during their helpless state. This character 
is referred to in the name given to the order, which 
is derived from the Latin marsupium, a pouch. In 
order to give the pouch a firmer support than it could 
derive from the abdominal muscles, the animals are 
furnished with a pair of peculiar bones (the marsupial 
bones), which spring from the anterior part of the pelvis ; 
the presence of these bones constitutes one of the most 
important practical characters of the group, as they 
occur both in the males and females, and even in those 
species in which the pouch is deficient, or replaced by 
a mere fold of the skin of the belly. 

Besides these characters, there are others of great 
importance presented by the structure of the brain, 
in which, as in their reproduction, the Marsupialia 
evidently exhibit a marked approach to the oviparous 
classes of Birds and Reptiles. In most of the Mammalia 
the two hemispheres of the brain are united, besides 
other bonds of union, by a large band called the corpus 
callosum; this is entirely wanting in the marsupials. 
The hemispheres themselves are smooth and smaller 
than in other mammals, leaving the olfactory and optic 
lobes and the cerebellum perfectly visible when the 
brain is viewed from above ; characters which show a 
certain resemblance to those of birds. 

Taking the whole of the above peculiarities into consi- 
deration, nearly all zoologists have not only coincided 
in admitting the justice of Cuvier's separation of the 

animal, presenting them as a distinct order of mam- 
mals, but have even gone beyond him, and regarded 
these creatures, with two singular animals referred by 
Cuvier to the Edentata, as forming a distinct subclass 
of mammalia, which has been denominated Aplacen- 
talia or Acotyledona, from the absence of the placenta, 
the most striking physiological character exhibited by 
its members. Most naturalists, although regarding the 
characters presented by the aplacental mammals as 
indicative of a lower position in the scale of organiza- 
tion than that occupied by the rest of the class, have 
not failed to perceive that in the characters of the den- 
tition, the limbs, and the general conformation of the 
body, they present a diversity almost as great as that 
manifested amongst the Placentalia, so that we find 
amongst them herbivorous, carnivorous, insectivorous, 
rodent, and even edentate forms ; and thus arose the 
idea that the two subclasses of Mammalia were rather 
to be regarded as parallel and mutually representative 
series than as truly superior and inferior groups. This 
notion, carried still further, led some zoologists to ignore 
the section of aplacental mammals altogether, and to 
distribute its members amongst those orders and fami- 
lies of Mammalia with which, in their other characters, 
they seemed to be most nearly allied. As, however, 
these views were for the most part promulgated by 
writers who had some favourite theory of classification 
of their own to support, they naturally died with the 
systems which gave them birth, although it is remark- 
able that in one of the most recent and valuable works 
on the Mammalia,* we find the toothless aplacental 
mammals arranged with the Edentata as in the system 
of Cuvier, whilst the remainder of the subclass still 
stands as the order Marsupialia. Dr. Gray, of the 
British Museum, also places the toothless species with 
the true Edentata, whilst he follows Linnaeus in placing 
the marsupials amongst the Ferce.^ 

The system that will be adopted in the present work 
is shown in the following tabular view: 


A. Unguiculate or Clawed. 
Order 1. BIMANA ; the anterior limbs furnished with hands. 

" 2. QUADRUMAXA; furnished with four hands; the posterior thumbs opposable. 

" 3. CHEIROPTERA ; anterior limbs converted into wings, the fingers being very long, and connected by a 


" 4. INSECTIVORA ; four feet formed for walking ; molar teeth broad, with sharp tubercles. 
" 5. CAKNIVORA ; four feet formed for walking ; molars narrow and sharp. 
" 6. PJXXIPEDIA : four feet formed for swimming only ; molars narrow and sharp. 
" 7. RODENTIA ; tour feet fonned for walking ; no canine teeth ; incisors two in each jaw, chisel-shaped. 
4i 8. EDENTATA ; four feet formed for walking or climbing ; no incisors or canines in either jaw. 

B. Ungulate or Hoofed. 

Order 9. RUMIXANTIA ; hoofs cloven ; incisor teeth wanting in the upper jaw ; stomach complicated. 
" 10. SOLIDUNGULA \ feet with a single toe and a solid hoof; incisor teeth in both jaws. 

11. PACHYDEUMATA ; feet with two or more toes and hoofs ; incisor teeth always in the upper jaw 

C. Mutilated or Defective. 
Order 12. CETACEA ; body fish-like ; anterior limbs converted into paddles, posterior limbs wanting. 

Order 13. MARSUPIALIA ; teats inclosed in a pouch, or between two folds of the skin of the belly ; incisor 

and molar teeth always present ; only one clavicle ; external ears. 

" 14. MONOTREMATA; with a single outlet or cloaca, for the urinary, generative, and intestinal organs ; 
no pouch or external ears ; teeth wanting or horny in texture ; clavicle double. 

* Professor Wagner's Continuation of Schreber's Savytkiere. 
f It must be remarked, however, that the few species o 
family of opossums. 

if marsupial animals known to Linna;u> were all of the ferine 



We have not thought it necessary to indicate in the 
history of the classification of the Mammalia, the differ- 
ent steps by which Cuvier's arrangement has been 
modified so as to produce the fourteen orders shortly 
characterized above. These consist in the separation of 
the Cheiroptera, Insectivora, and Pinnipedia, from the 
Carnassiers of the great French zoologist ; in the sepa- 
ration of the horses from the Pachydennata of Cuvier, 
to form the order Solidungula, and in the establish- 
ment of the order Monotremata for the edentulous 
aplacental mammals, placed by Cuvier and some other 
authors with the Edentata. 

In concluding this portion of our subject we must 
devote a little space to the consideration of a new 
scheme of classification of the Mammalia lately put 
forward by the distinguished British comparative anato- 
mist, Professor Owen. Starting from the assumption 
that the brain, as the centre of the nervous system, the 
most important of all the constituent elements of the 
animal body, must necessarily be modified in accord- 
ance with the habits, instincts, and powers of the various 
creatures, Professor Owen has taken the structure of this 
wonderful organ as the foundation of his system ; and 
from the characters thus obtained he concludes that the 
two subclasses of placental and nonplacental mammals 
are not of equal value, and that it would be more proper 
to divide the class into four subclasses. Of these the 
first, which Professor Owen denominates the LYENCE- 
PHALA, or " loosed-brained," are distinguished by the 
imperfect union of the two cerebral hemispheres, from 
the want of the corpus callosum already referred to ; 
the hemispheres are smooth and small, exposing the 

olfactory and optic lobes and the cerebellum. This 
subclass corresponds with our Aplacentalia. 

In a second subclass the hemispheres of the brain are 
united by a corpus callosum, but are not much lareer 
than in the preceding, leaving the greater part of the 
olfactory lobes and the cerebellum exposed; their surface 
is slightly convoluted in a few of the largest species of 
the group, but in the majority they are smooth. From 
this circumstance Professor Owen proposes to call the 
animals of this subclass LISSEXCEPHALA. 

Those of the third group have the surface of the 
brain more or less convoluted, with but very few ex- 
ceptions. Hence they are called GYRENCEPHALA. 
The cerebral hemispheres are much more largely 
developed in this than in the two preceding groups, 
and cover more or less of the cerebellum and olfactory 

Lastly, in the highest subclass, the ARCHENCEPUALA, 
which includes only the human species, we find nearly 
the same cerebral characters as in the third group ; but 
the hemispheres are much larger, forming the whole 
mass of the brain when viewed from above, and the 
convolutions are deeper and more numerous. 

The animals belonging to each of these subclasses 
present certain anatomical peculiarities in common, 
which are carefully indicated by Professor Owen in his 
paper, and appear to lend considerable support to his 
views. The orders admitted by the learned professor 
are for the most part identical with those adopted in 
the present work ; the differences in this respect and 
in the general arrangement will be easily seen from the 
following table : 



Archencephala, BIMANA. 


Gyrencephala, , { Ungulata, . 

j^Mutilata, .. 












The Pinnipedia (seals) have vanished from the list to 
take their old place amongst the Carnivora, and the Soli- 
dungula no longer figure as a distinct order ; but these 
losses are compensated by the division of the Cetacea 
into two orders, and by the establishment of the order 
Proboscidia for the elephants. The principal difference, 
besides these, between the classification proposed by 
Professor Owen and that adopted by the present writer 
consists in the mode of division of the rest of the hoofed 
quadrupeds. These, with Professor Owen, form the two 
orders Artiodactyla and Perissodactyla, or even-toed 
and odd-toed beasts the former including the ruminants, 
the pigs, and the Hippopotamus ; the latter the horses, 
the tapirs, the Hyrax, and the rhinoceroses. It seems 
to the author, however, that this mode of arrangement, 
the principal merit of which consists in its allowing 
the assignment of a definite place in the system to 

the remains of certain extinct species of Mammals, can 
hardly be regarded as natural when applied to those 
creatures, the whole of whose organization is known 
to us. The Ruminants appear to constitute a most 
natural and well-defined group, which cannot, taking 
the mass of their characters into consideration, be 
properly associated in the same order with any other 
forms of quadrupeds ; so that the only course to be 
adopted would be that of establishing a separate order 
for the pigs and Hippopotami. This, however, doe? 
not appear to us to be necessary, and we shall therefore 
adhere in the present work to the old orders, Rumi- 
nantia and Pachydennata. 

As regards the general arrangement or sequence of 
the orders and the establishment of the subclasses pro- 
posed by Professor Owen, no one can venture to give 
an opinion who has not thoroughly and patiently worked 




over nearly the same ground on the same principle of 
careful and conscientious investigation, in order, if pos- 
sible, to obtain results which shall either confirm the 
views advanced by him, or show in what manner some 
fallacy may have crept into his generalizations. There 
can be no doubt that although this classification may 
not eventually be adopted as a whole, it must exercise 
an important influence on the views of succeeding 

zoologists ; and we have therefore dwelt upon it here at 
considerable length, feeling that, although the require- 
ments of a popular scientific work compel us to follow 
as closely as possible those opinions which are most 
generally entertained, the reader might fairly charge us 
with neglect if we omitted to place before him some 
account of a system which has justly acquired so much 


ALTHOUGH it cannot be denied that man, in his 
physical relations, is a member of the zoological series, 
and, as such, must occupy a place in our classification, 
it is not our intention, nor indeed is it compatible with 
the general scope of the present work, to enter at any 
length upon the consideration of the natural history of 
the human race. The study of this subject is far from 
being a purely zoological investigation. It includes a 
careful examination of the political history of mankind, 
from the earliest reliable records down to our own days, 
in order that the student may acquire some notion of 
the migrations performed by different races or varieties 
of men, and the consequent displacements and inter- 
mixtures that have taken place. The moral and intel- 
lectual qualities of the various races have also to be 
taken into consideration ; and, of late years especially, 
the comparison of different languages, both as regards 
their verbal and grammatical accordance and diver- 
sity, has justly been regarded as affording a most 
valuable clue to guide the investigator in the laby- 
rinth of tribes and nations. It is evident that a 
subject embracing such various investigations, and 
entering into the domain of zoology only by its physical 
aspect, cannot, with any propriety, be considered merely 
as a branch of zoological inquiry ; and of late years 
the study of the natural history of man has been 
universally admitted to the rank of a distinct science, 
under the name of ETHNOLOGY, or the science of races. 
If the reader will apply to himself the aphorism 
" Nosce te ipsum," the only character which Linnaeus 
deigns to give of his Homo sapiens, although in a some- 
what different sense from that in which it was intended 
by the Grecian sage, its author he will find that he is 
in all points of structure a genuine and undoubted 
mammal ; and the comparison of his organization with 
that of one of the higher apes, especially the chim- 
panzee, will leave him in little doubt as to the near 
approach which these animals make in some respects 
to the human race. This resemblance is so close in 
many particulars of structure, that we cannot coincide 
in opinion with those writers who hold that Man should 
on no account be admitted into the zoological series, 
an opinion founded principally upon the consideration of 
his intellectual faculties and moral qualities ; nor can we 
even assent to Professor Owen's view, that the human 
race, regarded in its physical aspect, is so distinct in its 
characters from all other mammals, as to deserve to 
form a subclass by itself; but we are still further at 
variance with those writers who, like some modern 
French zoologists, have reverted to the Linnaeun 
VOL. I. 

| method, in so far as to revive the order of Primates for 
the reception of man and the monkeys an intimate 
collocation of the human species with the lower ani- 
mals which is exceedingly congenial to the views of 
those who hold the doctrine of the progressive develop- 
ment of species, or the gradual production of one 
species from another, by virtue of a law of development 
pejvading all nature. 

Independently of purely intellectual considerations, 
and of the comparative bulk of the brain wliich is 
connected therewith, and which of itself, with its con- 
j comitant effects upon the size of the skull and pro- 
portionately smaller development of the facial bones, 
would suffice to distinguish Man, even zoologically, from 
the rest of the Mammalia we have to remark the per- 
fect organization of every human being for an upright 
position, involving, as this does, great changes in all 
parts of the body. The foot is constructed so that the 
whole sole may be applied to the ground, forming with 
its arched instep a support at once firm and elastic. 
The bones of the shank and ankle are so arranged as 
to confer great firmness and a certain amount of mobility 
upon the foot ; the knee is large and powerful, the 
thigh long and very muscular, and the pelvis large, 
j strong, and changed in its position so as to allow the 
whole lower limb to be brought under the centre of 
gravity of the body. In all these respects we find a 
great difference between man and the apes, which, 
being adapted for passing their existence in trees, have 
the hinder limbs far shorter than in the human subject, 
the position of the pelvis different, and the articulations 
of the legs so arranged that the palms of their posterior 
hands are more or less turned inwards, or towards 
each other ; hence, when an ape walks upright, he is 
rarely able to apply the whole sole of the foot to the 
ground, but waddles along upon the sides of his feet 
in an awkward and uncertain fashion, very different 
from the firm, elastic tread of man. As we advance 
upwards in our examination of the human body, we 
find the spinal column beautifully curved to adjust 
it to the upright position, and the skull supported 
nearly in equilibrium upon the first vertebra of the neck ; 
' the occipital condyles, or articulating processes, being 
j placed almost exactly under the centre of gravity of 
' the whole head. Thus, the maintenance of an upright 
i position is facilitated in the human subject by every 
conceivable means, and the object of this modification 
is evidently to leave him at liberty to make full use of 
the beautiful and delicate mechanism wliich constitutes 
i the hand of man. The monkeys, indeed, are all endowed 


with grasping bauds, and in the majority these are even 
furnished with opposable thumbs ; but these thumbs 
are much shorter than in the human hand, and the 
fingers are far from possessing the same amount of 
independent mobility as those of man. It is to this 
great perfection of his hand, together with the power 
which he possesses of making use of this organ, inde- 
pendently of the position of the other parts of the body, 
in other words, its complete removal from the system 
of locomotive organs, that man is mainly indebted for 
his capability of employing the intellect with which it 
is his proud prerogative to be endowed, and for his 
power of obtaining a mastery over all the rest of the 
animated creation. We cannot, in fact, imagine any 
modification of the human form which would render it 
a more fitting vehicle for the exercise of the mental 
powers possessed by man ; nor can we conceive the 
performance of the various actions instigated by those 
powers by the instrumentality of any other known 
form of organization. Thus, then, from the general 
structure of the whole body, we obtain sufficient evi- 
dence of the title possessed by the human species to 
rank as a distinct order in our classification, to stand 
out clearly at the head of the animated world, and not 
merely as the highest member of the group of monkeys. 

The principal physical characters by which man is 
distinguished at the first glance from all the other Mam- 
malia are, therefore, as may be gathered from what we 
have already stated, his adaptation to an erect posture ; 
the great perfection of his anterior members, and espe- 
cially of his hands; the large size of his brain and skull; 
and the comparative smallness of the facial bones. 
Besides these we find other physical peculiarities which 
equally serve to characterize the order Bimana. Each 
jaw contains teeth of three kinds, namely, four incisors, 
two canines, and ten molars ; and these are of nearly 
equal height, and arranged in a continuous series in 
each jaw, never exhibiting that diversity of size, or the 
gaps separating the canines from the incisors or molars, 
which occur in all other living mammals. The molars 
have their crowns uniformly enamelled, more or less 
cubical in form, and furnished with obtuse tubercles 
on the upper surface, a conformation indicative of the 
adaptation of the human species to a mixed diet. The 
skin is naked, or but sparingly clothed with hairs, ex- 
cept upon the head and some other parts of the body, 
and the nails are all flat and broad. 

It is unnecessary to dwell upon the intellectual supe- 
riority enjoyed by the human race over the lower 
animals, as this must be sufficiently manifest to ever}' 
one. The highest intelligence exhibited by an animal 
must be regarded as inferior to that of a child of two or 
three years old ; and it is only the astonishment felt at 
witnessing the effects of education upon some of the 
most highly-endowed creatures, that often leads the 
superficial observer to attribute to them a higher degree 
of reasoning power than they really possess. It is, also, 
in the mind of man alone that has been implanted that 
belief in the existence of a Deity and in the immortality 
of his own soul, which is the foundation of all religious 
sentiment a sentiment which, although often debased 
by the most degrading superstitions, seems to be inher- 
ent in the human race. 

There is one other manifestation of the intellectual 
powers of man that must not be altogether passed over 
in silence, namely, the faculty of speech, or of producing 
and understanding articulate sounds. This appears to 
be peculiar to the human species ; for, although there can 
be no doubt that in many animals there is some power 
of communicating intelligence from one individual to 
another, none of them possess a language. It is by 
means of this peculiar faculty that the progress of man- 
kind is insured. It is by this that the knowledge 
acquired and the discoveries made in one age, or in 
one locality, are transmitted to later times or to distant 
countries; whilst by the reduction of language to written 
characters, the insecurity of oral tradition is got rid of, 
and the influence of every discovery is extended and 
made more permanent. 

We come now to one of the most difficult subjects 
connected with the physical history of man the ques- 
tion of the primitive unity or diversity of the human 
species ; in other words, whether the original proge- 
nitors of the entire human population of the globe 
were perfectly identical in their essential characters, or 
whether the diversity which we now observe in different 
races be the result of a primary specific difference. 
There is no doubt that when we compare together the 
extreme varieties of humanity, as, for instance, Euro- 
peans, Negroes, American Indians, Chinese, and Aus- 
tralian savages, we may easily find in the form of the 
head and face, the colour of the skin, the nature of the 
hair and the general structure of the body, distinctive 
characters, such as in most cases of zoological investi- 
gation would lead us to regard these different forms as 
belonging to so many species. But this question, unfor- 
tunately, cannot be so easily settled ; because, between 
these extremes of diversity we find so many inter- 
mediate steps, so many points where the physical 
characters of different marked varieties seem to be 
intimately blended, that it is often impossible to say to 
which of two supposed species a given tribe of men is 
to be referred. 

If we take the opposite supposition, namely, that all 
the varieties of man have been produced by the modifi- 
cation of a single species, or to put the matter more 
clearly, the progeny of a single pair, it is difficult to 
conceive that mere climatal influences and differences 
in the mode of life could have produced such immense 
changes, not only in the colour, but also in the confor- 
mation of different tribes. One of the strongest physical 
arguments adduced in favour of the unity of the human 
species consists in the continued fertility of mixed 
races, even where the grounds for the establishment of 
distinct species are apparently the strongest as, for 
instance, in the progeny of Europeans and Negroes. 
But this argument is fallacious, as, although the majority 
of animal hybrids may be sterile, there are undoubtedly 
cases in which 'this rule is departed from ; indeed, it is 
not improbable that some of our most valuable domestic 
animals are hybrids. The test of colour, which is 
often relied upon as an indication of variation distinctly 
referable to a recognizable cause, namely, the influence 
of a greater or less degree of heat, does not always 
apply; for although we may state as a general rule, that 
the inhabitants of hot plains are darker than those of 




colder or more mountainous regions, yet there are many j 
important instances that may be adduced in opposition j 
to the universal application of this rule : the most north- 
ern tribes are usually of dark complexions, and the 
natives of Australia and Van Diemen's Land are darker 
than many tropical nations. The varieties of domestic 
animals, which are so numerous and often so remark- 
able, have been produced, for the most part, by the 
artificial variation of the conditions of their existence ; 
and where they are due to climatal influences, it must 
be borne in mind that the creatures have been in a 
manner forcibly transplanted to their new abodes, which 
they would, in all probability, never have reached but 
by the instrumentality of man. With the human sub- 
ject the case is different ; his organization adapts him 
for existence in all parts of the world where he can 
find the necessary supplies of food : with this restric- 
tion, no region is too hot or too cold for him, and this 
does not merely apply to the indigenous races of each 
district, for the individuals of most races can live and 
thrive in the districts originally belonging to other 
tribes ; and in this case, as far as we know, the pos- 
terity of the new comers retains the characters of 
its original progenitors. This is remarkably shown 
in the present day in the United States of America, 
where the native American, the European, and the 
Negro, have now lived and propagated under the same 
conditions of climate for many years, without losing 
their original characters. Thus the difficulties are 
nearly equally great on both sides, and we only partially 
get rid of them by assuming that a multiplicity of indi- 
viduals of the human species may have been originally 
created, and that the gradual intensification of the 
personal characteristics of these individuals in their 
descendants by constant intermarriage within the same 
families, may have given rise to the varieties which are 
now met with. Otherwise, if production from a single 
original pair be necessary for the establishment of the 
unity of the human species, we are forced to admit for 
it a much greater antiquity of origin than is usually 
supposed ; for we know from ancient Egyptian pictures 
that, in the Mosaic period, the physical characteristics 
of the Hebrews, Copts, and Negroes were as strongly 
marked as in the present day ; and it is impossible to 
suppose that such important modifications of one and 
the same type would have been produced by climatal 
influences in the period intervening in our chronology 
between the epochs of Noah and Moses, and that in 
the present day we should find different races still 
retaining their essential characteristics, after dwelling 
together for many ages in the same region. Moreover, 
not to mention the chronologies of the Chinese and 
Brahmins, which appear to run into the opposite 
extreme to our own, we may refer to the statement of 
Professor Lepsius, that the chronology of the Egyptians 
may be traced up to the year 3900 B.C., and that the 
fourth dynasty, including the builders of the chief pyra- 
mids, commenced in the year 3430 B.C. He adds that 
" a thousand years at least, and probably still more, 
must be conjectured for the gradual growth of a civili- 
zation which had been completed, and had in part 
begun to degenerate at least 3430 years before our 
era." (See Lepsius in Humboldt's Cosmos, vol. ii.) 

Mr. Leonard Horner, also, in his boring through the 
sediment of the Nile at Memphis, found a fragment of 
pottery at a depth of thirty-nine feet from the surface ; 
and as it appears from unquestionable data that, during 
the last 3215 years, the average amount of sediment 
deposited has been three and a half inches in a century, 
this fragment is regarded by Mr. Horner as a proof of 
the existence of man more than 13,370 years ago 
" of man, moreover, in a state of civilization, so far, at j 
least, as to be able to fashion clay into vessels, and to < 
know how to harden them by the action of a strong j 
heat." (Proceedinys of Royal Society : 1858.) Per- 
haps the most probable conclusion at which we can 
arrive from the consideration of all this evidence is, 
that the whole human population of the globe belongs 
to a single species, modified by climatal and other 
influences, extending over a period of years so long 
that our authentic historical data relate only to a small 
portion of it. 

As might be expected from the short reference 
already made to the innumerable shades of difference 
presented by different tribes of mankind, and the insen- 
sible blending of the one into the other, the discrimi- 
nation of the principal varieties of the human species 
is by no means an easy task ; and we accordingly find 
that nearly every writer on this intricate subject enter- 
tains peculiar views as to the affinities of particular 
tribes, or even as to the number of primary varieties 
which it is necessary to admit. Thus, Cuvier refers all 
the varied forms of mankind to three, Blumenbachtc 
five, Pritchard to seven, and Pickering and Latham to 
eleven leading varieties. It is principally by the con- 
sideration of the structure of the languages that the 
number of varieties has been so greatly increased by 
the last-named writers. In their chief physical charac- 
ters most of the tribes of mankind may be conveniently 
referred to the five sections proposed by Blumenbach. 
These are the Caucasian or Iranian, the Mongolian 
or Turanian, the Malayan, the Ethiopian, and the 
American varieties. 

1. CAUCASIANS or IRANIANS. This variety includes 
all those nations which have made the greatest progress 
in civilization. Their colour depends principally upon 
the country inhabited by them, the skin in those dwell- 
ing in temperate zones being white, more or less tinged 
with pink in different parts by the blood shining through 
it ; whilst in the nations of wanner climates the colour 
gradually becomes darker, and finally almost black. 
The hair exhibits similar, and, to a certain extent, cor- 
responding variations in colour ; in temperate climates 
it presents every shade from red and yellowish-brown 
to black, whilst in the darker races of hot countries the 
last-named colour predominates ; but in all cases the 
hair is straight or simply curled, but never crisp and 
woolly in appearance. The face is oval, and the fore- 
head high, the facial angle approaching a right angle ; 
the eyes are straight ; the nose is usually narrow and 
prominent, and the lips are moderately full. The great 
Caucasian variety extends from Hindostan through 
Persia and the Caucasus to Europe, of which the 
greater part of the inhabitants belong to it; it also 
includes the nations inhabiting Arabia, Syria, and the 
northern and north-eastern parts of Africa. The latter, 




amongst which we may notice the Arabs, the Jews, the 
Moors and the Abyssinians, constitute a great sub- 
variety, distinguished by certain peculiarities, especially 
of language ; they are called the Semitic, Aramcean or 

Fig. 1. 

Syro- Arabic races. They are considered by Dr. Latham 
to form part of the great African variety. 

The remainder of the Caucasian races principally 
belong to a second great stock that of the Lido- 
Europeans, including the Hindoos, Persians, and all 
the European tribes, with the exception of the Magyars 
of Hungary, the Laplanders, Fins, and other Mon- 
golian tribes of the extreme north, and the Basques 
of Spain, the remains of the ancient Iberians, whose 
affinities are not yet clearly ascertained. These tribes 
all speak languages which are considered to be derived 
from the Sanscrit. The true Caucasian tribes, such as 
the Circassians and Georgians, are distinguished from 
the rest by peculiarities of language, which would seem 
to indicate an affinity with the following variety, whilst 
the appearance of the people, and especially the confor- 
mation of the skull, caused Blumenbach to regard them 
as the type of the white races. 

2. MONGOLIANS or TURANIANS. In these races 
the colour of the skin also varies from the clear 
white complexion of the fairest Europeans, through 
various shades of olive, tawny, or even yellow, to a 
dark yellowish-brown. The skull is rounder than in 
the European races ; the face is broad and flat, with 
very prominent cheek-bones ; the eyes are narrow and 

small, with the outer angle drawn upwards, so that the 
direction of the opening of the eyelids is oblique ; the 
nose is small and broad, and the lips usually thin. The 
Mongolian races are distributed over the whole of 1 

Fig. 2. 

northern and eastern Asia, thus including the highly 
cultivated Chinese, Japanese, and Siamese, the nomadic 
tribes which wander over the boundless plains of Cen- 
tral Asia, the Tibetans, the savage hill-tribes of north- 
ern Hindostan and the Turcomans of Western Asia. 
The latter are the original stock of the Turks, who have 
established their rule upon the ruins of the Greek 
empire. It is to movements in the vast Mongolian 
populations of Northern and Central Asia, propagated 
even from the confines of China, that we are to ascribe 
those devastating invasions of barbarians which ulti- 
mately destroyed the western Roman empire. Even in 
Europe, the remains of these conquering hordes are 
still to be found in the Magyars of Hungary, who only 
obtained a footing in their present domicile in the tenth 
century of our era. The inhabitants of Lapland and 
Finland also, with those of the provinces of Livonia and 
Esthonia, south of the Baltic, and of a large extent of 
country in the north and east of European Russia, 
belong to a Mongolian stock, some of them being pro- 
bably the aboriginal inhabitants of the districts which 
they at present occupy ; whilst others have established 
themselves where we now find them, by displacing 
other tribes, either of Mongolian or of Caucasian 
descent. At the north-eastern extremity of the Asiatic 


rontinent we find the coast occupied by the Esquimaux 
or Eskimo, as they are now frequently termed, which 
are also regarded as belonging to the great Mongolian 
variety. These people are remarkable from the fact of 
their extending from the Asiatic station just mentioned, 
through the Aleutian Islands to the continent of North 
America, all the Arctic shores of which, including 
those of Greenland and Labrador, are peopled by 
Esquimaux tribes. It is by their means, therefore, that 
the ethnological connection between the old and new 
continents has been established; and it seems not 
improbable that, in the lapse of ages, all the varied 
tribes of American Indians may have been derived from 
Esquimaux progenitors. These tribes are, however, con- 
sidered to form a distinct variety of the human species. 
3. AMERICANS. The skin in these races is usually 
of a reddish clay colour, sometimes copper colour, but 
becoming brown or blackish in the hot tropical plains. 
The hair is long, straight, and usually coarse ; the eyes 
are generally small, but not narrow and oblique as in 
the Mongolians ; and the nose is large, high, and often 
well formed. The forehead is retreating, and the cheek- 
bones prominent. In its geographical distribution the 

Fig. 3. 

ing characters of resemblance, both in their physical 
conformation and in the structure of their languages. 
They are for the most part in an uncivilized condition, 
although, as is well known, the Mexicans and Peruvians 
had attained to a high state of cultivation before the 
discovery of the New World. 

4. MALAYANS. The Malayan races, which are also 
called Oceanic by Dr. Latham, are usually of a yellowish- 
brown complexion, but their colour varies in intensity 
from a light brownish yellow to nearly black. Their 
hair is always black, usually straight, but frequently 
more or less curled ; they have generally a high fore- 
head ; narrow, but not oblique eyes ; and a broad but 
not flattened nose. In the general physiognomy we 
often find an approach to the Mongolian races, some of 
which are, in fact, the nearest neighbours of the Malay- 
ans ; but in some instances the expression of the face, 
and even the nature of the hair, present so much simi- 
larity to the Negroes, that the populations thus charac- 
terized have occasionally been referred to the negro 
type. The Malayan races include the inhabitants of 
the peninsula of Malacca, and of the eastern Archi- 
pelago, together with those of the Pacific Islands, New 

Fig. 4. 

American Indian. 

American variety presents a remarkable peculiarity. 
The other races appear to be more or less limited in 
their natural extension by degrees of latitude, that is to 
say, their tribes spread for the most part in an east and 
west direction, so as to preserve, within certain limits, 
a similarity of climate. The American man, on the 
contrary, has spread in the opposite direction, or from 
north to south, so that nearly from the Arctic circle to 
the southern extremity of Patagonia, over a space of 
about one hundred degrees of latitude, the aborigines of 
America all belong to the same stock and exhibit strik- 


Guinea, Australia, and New Zealand. The natives of 
Madagascar are also Malayans. In the Negritos of 
Sumatra, Mindanao, and the New Hebrides, the 
negro characters make their appearance in a remark- 
able manner, as also in the Papuas of New Guinea and 
some of the neighbouring islands, in which the hair is 
of great length and strongly frizzled, standing out from 
the head on all sides, so as to present the appearance of 
an enormous wig. 

5. ETHIOPIANS. The races commonly, but incor- 
rectly, called Ethiopians, have the skin of various dark 




tints, from deep brown to a nearly perfect black, and 
the hair short and woolly in its -appearance. The fore- 
head is depressed and the jaws prominent, in some 

Fig. 5. 


cases so much so as almost to form a muzzle ; the face 
is flat, with the cheek-bones not very prominent ; the 
nose is broad and flat ; and the lips very thick. The 

Ethiopian variety includes all the races of Africa, from 
the southern and western boundaries of the Semitic 
nations (Moors, Arabs, and Abyssinians) to the Cape of 




Good Hope. The principal races are the true Negroes 
of Central Africa, the Caffres and Hottentots; the 
Bushmen appear to be a degraded tribe of the latter. 


THE most essential character of this order is expressed 
in its name; the animals composing it are furnished 
with four grasping hands, and in the majority of 
them these are all provided with opposable thumbs. 
In some, however, the anterior extremities are alto- 
gether deprived of thumbs, so that the posterior feet 
alone are deserving of the title of hands; and this 
presence of true hands on the hinder extremities, consti- 
tutes the most constant character by which the Quad- 
rumana are distinguished from the rest of the placental 
Mammalia. It occurs again in the non-placental opos- 
sums, and from this circumstance, some naturalists have 
thought fit to form a single group under the name of 
Pedimana, or Foot-handed animals, for the reception 
of the Quadrumana and opossums. The only exception 
to the character here given, presented by any animal 
which we refer to this group, is that exhibited by the 
Galeopithecus, or Flying Lemur, a creature which seems 
to unite the Quadrumana with the Cheiroptera or Bats, 
having been placed, by different zoologists, sometimes 
in one and sometimes in the other of these orders. 
In this there are no opposable thumbs either on the 
anterior or posterior extremities. From the peculiar 

characters presented by the Gakopithecus, some zoolo- 
gists, including Professor Van der Hoeven, have even 
regarded it as entitled to form a distinct order. 

The principal distinctions between the Quadrumana 
and the Bimana have already been indicated under the 
latter head; we shall, therefore, confine ourselves here 
to a general statement of the characters of the present 
order. The conversion of the hind feet into hands, and 
the accompanying modifications of the general structure 
of the hinder extremities, which, as we have already 
seen, prevent even the highest apes from easily main- 
taining the erect attitude natural to man, adapt the Quad- 
rumana most admirably for their mode of life, which 
is, in most cases, strictly arboreal ; and as those species 
which are not inhabitants of the forest, are dwellers 
amongst the rocks, the advantage, even to them, of 
their hinder hands will hardly be denied by the most 
experienced cragsman. Amongst the branches of the 
trees, the apes and monkeys disport themselves with 
an agility and security astonishing to the spectator, 
and the great African baboons are described as 
scrambling up the faces of nearly perpendicular rocks 
with the greatest ease. 



in the general form of the body we find a great 
diversity in this order. The apes and monkeys pre- 
sent a greater or less resemblance to the human spe- 
cies ; the baboons are more quadruped in their appear- 
ance; and the lemurs resemble ordinary quadrupeds 
in their form. The development of the tail, also, is 
very variable ; some, such as the apes, being perfectly 
destitute of this appendage, which is also rudimentary 
in several of the baboons, whilst the majority of the 
monkeys and lemurs are well provided with tails, 
and these in the American monkeys are often prehen- 
sile, thus furnishing these creatures as it were with a 
fifth hand, which is of great service to them in their 
arboreal gambols. 

The resemblance in the form of the brain and skull 
in the apes to that of the same parts in the human 
species, is greatest in the young animals, and it is 
owing to this, and to the fact that most of the specimens 
of the larger apes brought to Europe have been very 
young, that we are to attribute the exaggerated notions 
frequently entertained with regard to the extent of this 
similarity. In the young animals the brain is larger 
even in proportion to the rest of the body than in full- 
grown specimens; and as long as the dentition is con- 
fined to the milk teeth, the jaws are but little produced, 
so that the forehead is high, and the facial angle very 
large ; but as the first teeth are shed and the permanent 
ones produced, the space required for their accommo- 
dation becomes greatly increased, and the jaws are 
necessarily prolonged, whilst no corresponding change 
takes place in the dimensions of the cranium, and thus 
the face eventually acquires the form of a prominent 
muzzle. In the change of teeth, the canines acquire a 
great development, crossing each other, and interlocking 
like those of a carnivorous animal, so that the jaws of 
an adult ape or baboon present an aspect almost as 
formidable as those of one of the larger cats; and as a 
consequence of this great size of the canines, gaps are 
left between these teeth and the incisors or molars, to 
permit the lodgment of the canines of one jaw by the 
side of those of the other. The molars, in form, greatly 
resemble those of the human subject. 

The remaining general characters of the order may 
be dismissed in a few words. Except in the genus 
GaleopithecuS) already alluded to, the orbits, or bony 
sockets of the eyes, are completely closed, as in man. 
The external ears are usually small, but variable in 
form, sometimes resembling those of the human species, 
sometimes erect, as in the cat The fingers are gene- 
rally furnished with flat nails, but some species have 
curved, compressed claws, either on the whole or on 
some of the fingers. The mammge are almost always 
placed on the breast, and two in number ; in the Galeo- 
pithecus, there are four pectoral teats ; and in the 
Cheiromys, a doubtful species of the order, these organs 
are situated on the hinder part of the abdomen. 

In their geographical distribution upon the face of the 
earth, the Quadrumana must be regarded as a tropical 
group. They are found in the forests and rocky deserts 
of Southern Asia, of Africa, and of South America, 
where they live in troops, and feed principally upon 
fruits, often descending to plunder the gardens and 
fields of the inhabitants. In Africa, the range of the 

baboons extends as far south as the Cape of Good 
Hope; whilst a species of baboon-like monkey, the 
well-known Barbary ape, not only occurs on the south- 
ern shores of the Mediterranean, but even crosses to 
the European coast, and lives in numerous troops upon 
the rock of Gibraltar. 

This is at present the most northern range of any 
species of the order Quadrumana ; but the fossil remain* 
of these animals found in some European tertiary for- 
mations prove, that at a former period of the earth's 
history several species of monkeys and apes lived upon 
the continent of Europe, and even in England. In 
some fresh-water sands at Kyson in Suffolk, the tooth 
and part of the jaw of a Macacos, a monkey allied to 
the Barbary ape, have been found ; these strata belong 
to the eocene, or earliest tertiary formations. In the 
miocene, or middle tertiary fresh-water strata, at Sansar. 
in the south of France, M. Lartet in 1837 discovered 
the first known fossil remains of a quadrumanous ani- 
mal, considered to be allied to the Gibbons, which are 
now confined to the islands of the Eastern Archipelago; 
and in 1856 that geologist also found in the same 
region, the lower jaw and humerus of a gigantic ape, 
larger than any known living or fossil species, and pre- 
senting, in some respects, a nearer approach to the 
human species than even the chimpanzee. Other fossil 
species of monkeys have been found in the south of 
Europe at Montpellier and near Athens, both belonging 
to the Indian genus Semnopithecus. In the Sivalik 
hills of Northern India, the remains of several species 
of monkeys have been discovered by Messrs. Fal- 
coner and Cautley, and there is no doubt that as the 
geological investigation of the warmer regions of the 
Old World advances, other forms of Quadrumana will 
be found. The fossil monkeys which have been dis- 
covered in some caves in Brazil, belong to the same 
group as those now inhabiting the South American 
continent ; those are considered to have lived in the 
pliocene, or latest tertiary period; and it is interesting 
to find that ia this, as in some other cases, there was 
then the samf difference in the type of the mammalian 
inhabitants of the two hemispheres, as at the present 

When we examine the various animals belonging to 
this order, we find that the greater portion of them may 
be included in two sections the Monkeys (Simice) 
and the Lemurs (Prosimice). In the former, the inci- 
sors are always four in number in each jaw, and the 
rest of the dentition presents a certain resemblance 
to that of man ; the nails of the fingers are similar, 
either flattened or claw-like, and those of the thumbs 
always flat. In the lemurs the number of incisors is 
variable ; and the first finger of the hinder hands is 
always furnished with a curved, compressed claw. In 
both these groups the hinder thumb is opposable, and 
this is also the case with the thumb of the anterior \ 
extremities, except in those cases in which it is rudi- 
mentary or altogether wanting. There are other 
points of relationship between these two sections, which 
may consequently be regarded as forming the true 
Quadrumana ; but, besides these, we have to dispose 
of two other groups, each including only a single family, 
1 and but one or two species, the characters of which am 


such as to render the justice of placing them in the 
present order almost a matter of doubt. These aber- 
rant forms are the Cheiromys and the Galeopithecus 
already alluded to. 

Commencing with the Simice or Monkeys, as un- 
doubtedly the highest group of animals, and including 
the species which approach most closely to man, we 
find that these also present certain characters, agreeing 
most remarkably with the geographical distribution of 
the creatures, by which they may be divided into two 
sections. The monkeys of the Eastern hemisphere 
have the nostrils placed close together, and separated only 
by a narrow septum or partition ; the American mon- 
keys, on the contrary, have the nostrils placed wide 
apart on the sides of the nose, which is broad and flat. 
Hence the former are called Cutarrhine, and the latter 
Platyrrkine monkeys. 


The Catarrhine monkeys, or monkeys of the Old 
World, constitute only a single great family, that of the 
Simiadse, the genera of which this is composed resem- 
bling each other so closely in their most essential pecu- 
liarities, and often melting into each other by such 
imperceptible gradations in their minor characters, that 
not only is any further subdivision of them into accu- 
rately-defined subordinate groups almost impossible, 
but it is sometimes difficult even to separate the genera 
themselves by well-marked peculiarities of structure. 

All the Simiadse bear the same number of teeth as 
the human species, namely, four incisors, two canines, 
and ten molars and premolars in each jaw, making a 
total of thirty-two ; they also agree with man in the 
general form and arrangement of the teeth, except that 
the incisors are more oblique than in any variety of the 
human race, and there is always a vacant space in the 
vicinity of the canines. The tubercles of the molar 
teeth are obtuse. The tail is sometimes altogether 
deficient, and when present it varies greaUy in length, 
being sometimes a mere tubercle, whilst in other cases 
it is longer than the body; but it is never prehensile at 
the tip. Naked raised patches or callosities occur on 
the buttocks of nearly all the species ; these are formed 
by a thickening of the epidermis supported upon a 
peculiar process of the ischium, and constitute a sort of 
natural cushion upon which the animals sit when taking 
their repose. In most cases, also, these monkeys are 
provided with cheek-pouches in which they stow away 
a supply of food for future consumption. 

Taking the general characters of these animals into 
consideration, we may distinguish among them three 
principal groups those of the Apes, Monkeys, and 
Baboons. In the first of these groups, or the true 
apes, the tail and cheek-pouches are entirely deficient, 
and the buttocks are either destitute of callosities or 
have them very small. It is amongst these apes that 
we find the species most nearly approaching man in 
their organization ; and hence these animals are called 
Anthropoid or Anthropomorphous (Manlike) Apes, by 
most naturalists. Of the species at present known, the 
one which undoubtedly presents the greatest ampunt 
of resemblance to man is 

THE CHIMPANZEE (Troglodytes niger). By alJ 
authors, with the exception of Cuvier, and one or two 
who adopted the opinion of that great naturalist, the 
chimpanzee has been regarded as the highest species 
of the apes; and the character upon which Cuvier 
founded his preference for the orang-outan has been 
shown by later researches to be fallacious. Cuvier 
states that the volume of the brain and the promi- 
nence of the forehead is greater in the orang-outan 
than in the chimpanzee ; and later writers, following 
Cuvier, have defined the supposed difference in this 
respect by means of the facial angle, saying that in the 
orang this angle is 65, whilst in the chimpanzee it is 
only 50. This, however, is due to the comparison 
only of animals of different ages, the forehead being 
far more prominent in the young animal than in 
older individuals of both species, from the projection of 
the muzzle increasing as the creature approaches ma- 
i turity; so that, if adult specimens of the chimpanzee 
| and orang-outan be compared together, the difference 
will be found to be very small, and, if anything, rather 
in favour of the chimpanzee. The limbs in the chim- 
panzee, also, more nearly resemble those of man in 
| structure ; the arms are not much longer than in the 
' human species, whilst the legs considerably exceed 
| those of the orang in development, both as regards 
their comparative length, their muscularity, and their 
capability of supporting the animal in an erect posture. 
Both in the chimpanzee and the gorilla, the two 
species of the genus Troglodytes, the number of ribs i& 
thirteen, whilst the orang-outan has twelve ribs like 
the human subject. 

The adult chimpanzee measures nearly five feet in 
height when standing erect. Its body is covered with 
long, coarse, black or blackish-brown hair, which is 
very thick upon the back, but clothes the breast, belly, 
and limbs more sparingly ; at the sides of the head and 
face the hair is very long, and hangs down in the form 
of whiskers; the face and ears are nearly naked, and 
of a brownish flesh colour ; the ears nearly resemble 
those of the human species in form, but are very large ; 
the eyes are rather small, and the lips thick. The 
hands and feet are nearly naked, and the hairs of the 
fore-arm are directed towards the elbow, where they 
meet those of the upper arm, and usually project in a 

The chimpanzee is a native of the vast forests of the 
west coast of Africa, extending from the river Gambia, 
north of Guinea, as far as the district of Benguela, or 
over a space of about thirty degrees of latitude. It 
lives among the trees, usually avoiding the neighbour- 
hood of man, but forming little huts with branches of 
trees for its protection from the weather, at an elevation 
of thirty or forty feet from the ground. Its food 
consists principally of fruits, and it is also fond of the 
succulent terminal bud of the cabbage palm, which is 
likewise a favourite article of human food in tropical 
regions. In the trees the chimpanzees are very active, 
and display astonishing strength and agility in their 
movements ; the adult males especially are exceedingly 
powerful, and from their being armed with large canine 
teeth are very formidable animals. The chimpanzees 
are described by several travellers as arming them- 



selves with clubs, with which they attack and often 
kill the negroes whom they meet with in the woods ; 
and they are even said to assault the elephants with the 
same weapons, and drive them out of their districts. 
These statements, if true, probably relate to the gorilla, 
as even the adult male chimpanzee is said to fly from 
a man. In their sexual habits they are described as 
being very disgusting ; and, according to Dr. Savage 
(an American missionary to whom we are indebted for 
the actual discovery of a second species of Troglo- 
dytes}, the Negroes have a tradition that the chimpan- 
zees once belonged to the human race, but that they 
were expelled from society on account of the incorrigible 
depravity of their habits. 

The chimpanzee does not appear to have been 
clearly known to the ancients, and yet in a very old 
Carthaginian voyage, the Periplus of Hanno, we have 
a curious account of an animal which can only be 
referred to this or the following species. At least 
five hundred years before our era the Carthaginians 
appointed Hanno, one of their admirals, to sail with a 
large fleet through the Straits of Gibraltar, for the pur- 
pose of founding Carthaginian colonies along the African 
coast. According to the journal of this voyage, which 
has come down to us, the admiral set sail with no less 
than thirty thousand colonists of both sexes, and coast- 
ing along the western shores of Africa, succeeded in 
establishing numerous colonies at different places. He 
describes the coast and its inhabitants, and evidently 
entered the Gulf of Guinea, in which he sailed until he 
reached a bay called by his interpreters the Southern 
Horn. " In the bottom of this bay," says the Cartha- 
ginian admiral, " there was an island similar to the one 
previously described (in his voyage) ; this contained a 
lake, and in this lake there was another island inha- 
bited by wild men. The women were most numerous ; 
they were entirely covered with hair, and our inter- 
preters called them Gorilloi. We pursued them, but 
could not capture the men ; they all escaped us by their 
great activity, as they climbed the rocks and defended 
themselves by throwing stones at us. We only caught 
three women, who resisted by biting and scratching 
their conductors, and we were forced to kill them. We 
skinned them, and brought back their skins to Car- 
thage." These skins were placed in the temple of 
Astarte in Carthage, where they remained until the 
taking of that city in the year 146 B.C., as stated by 
Pliny, who, however, only mentions two of them, and 
changes the name of these wild men into Gorgones. 
The Gorilloi of Hanno, the Troglodytes, Satyrs, and 
other fantastic creatures described by the ancient na- 
turalists, were regarded by them as monstrous varieties 
of the human race, and the idea of their existence was 
probably derived from the imperfect accounts gffljpn 
by travellers of the Anthropoid apes. These notions 
continued to prevail throughout the middle ages, and it 
was not until a very recent period that they were 
replaced by more correct views. Thus, even Linnaeus 
describes a Homo Troglodytes, as a second species of 
man, in which he evidently confuses together the older 
narratives relating to both the chimpanzee and orang- 
outan ; just as, in his genus Simia, he combines these 
two species under the common name of S. Satyrus. 
VOL. I. 

It was not until the latter part of the sixteenth 
century, when the intercourse of Europeans with the 
west coast of Africa became more extended, that the 
accounts of travellers began to furnish more reliable 
information upon these large apes, although the earlier 
of these accounts are for the most part mixed up with 
fabulous narratives obtained from the Negroes. Andrew 
Battel, an English sailor, who was taken prisoner by 
the Portuguese in 1589, and resided for several years 
in Angola, mentions " two kinds of monsters," as he 
calls them, which inhabit the woods of that country ; 
of these the largest, which, he says, is of gigantic height, 
is called Pongo, and the other Enjocko, by the natives. 
The former is most probably identical with the newly- 
discovered gorilla ; the enjocko of Battel is, no doubt, 
the same as our chimpanzee ; and we find from later 
sources that in the district of the Gaboon, the Negroes 
give the name of N'Tschego to the chimpanzee. De 
Laval, a Frenchman, who published his travels in 1619, 
mentions the occurrence of these animals in Sierra 
Leone, where he says they are called Barris, and adds 
that they may be trained " to perform all the duties of a 
household servant." He states that they " generally 
walk upright, upon the hind feet only ; they will pound 
grain or any other substance in a mortar, go to the well, 
fill their water-jars and carry them home on their heads ; 
but if some person be not at hand to relieve them from 
their burden on their arrival, they let the jar fall, and 
begin to cry on seeing it broken." Jobson also describes 
an ape of five feet in height, called by the Negroes 
Quoja Vorau, which, according to him, can be taught 
to fetch water and to perform other household offices. 
De la Brosse, in his " Voyage to the Coast of Angola," 
published in 1738, refers to the species under the name 
of Quimpeze, but seems to have mixed up the chim- 
panzee and the gorilla, for he describes the animals as 
attaining a height of six or seven feet. He confirms 
many of the facts narrated by preceding travellers, and 
makes especial mention of the abduction of Negresses 
by these creatures, a habit which is so commonly 
ascribed both to the large apes and the baboons, stating 
that he was acquainted with a woman at Loango who 
lived three years amongst these animals. This account 
of the predilection of the chimpanzees for human con- 
cubines is confirmed, from hearsay, by Smith, who 
visited the coast of Guinea in 1744, and who says the 
animal is there called Mandrill ; in fact, it appears 
that the name of Drill, commonly applied to one of 
the large baboons, really belongs to the chimpanzee, 
and that it is the root of the Greek word Gorilloi, given 
by Hanno as the name of his wild men. These narra- 
tives, with the exception of Battel's, probably refer 
both to the pongo and the enjocko of the latter. 

The first specimen of the chimpanzee seen in Europe 
was a young living individual, which was brought to 
Holland towards the end of the seventeenth century. 
This specimen, which was from Angola, was described 
by Tulpius, who, however, confounded it with the 
orang-outan, in which, as already stated, he was fol- 
lowed by Linnseus. Buffon, also, who had the oppor- 
tunity of examining at least one living specimen of the 
chimpanzee, did not recognize its distinctness from the 
orang. It was first described under the name of Simia 



Troglodytes by Blumenbach ; and M. Geoffrey Saint- 
Hilaira regarded it as the type of the distinct genus 
Troglodytes, in which he has been followed by most 
subsequent zoologists. The anatomical structure of the 
chimpanzee was well described as long ago as the year 
1699, by an English anatomist, Tyson, in his "Anatomy 
of a Pigmy," where he enters into a detailed exposition 
of the characters in which this animal resembles and 
differs from man. 

The individuals which have been brought alive 
to Europe and exhibited in our menageries, have all 
been young animals, usually about two years old, 
and between two and three feet in height ; they can, 
consequently, give us but little idea of the habits and 
disposition of the adult chimpanzee. They have all 
exhibited a striking amount of intelligence, and a gen- 
tleness and docility such as we hardly associate with 
the idea of a monkey. The individual observed by 
Tyson in 1 699, is described by him as a gentle, affec- 
tionate, and harmless creature, which became much 
attached to the sailors on board the ship in which it 
was brought to England, embracing them with the 
greatest tenderness, opening the breasts of their shirts, 
and clasping its arms around them. It showed a great 
aversion to some small monkeys which were brought 
home in the same ship, keeping at a distance from them, 
as if it considered itself a being of a superior order. It 
became fond of wearing clothes, would dress itself 
partly, and apply for assistance in any difficulty to some 
of (he crew or passengers. 

The celebrated French naturalist, Buffon, has given 
the following interesting account of the chimpanzee 
observed by him, which he calls the Jocko, but confounds 
with the orang-outan. He says " Its air was melan- 
choly, its deportment grave, its movements measured, 
its disposition gentle, and very different from that of 
the other monkeys ; it had none of the impatience of 
the magot (Barbary ape), the ferocity of the baboon, 
or the extravagance of the monkeys. It may be said 
that it had been well taught ; but the others had also 
received their education ; a sign or a word was suffi- 
cient for our orang-outan ; whilst the baboon required 
the stick, and the others the whip, as they only obeyed 
under the fear of chastisement. I have seen this ani- 
mal present its hand to lead out its visitors, or walk 
about with them gravely as if it belonged to the com- 
pany. I have seen it seat itself at table, unfold its 
napkin and wipe its lips, use its spoon and fork to carry 
its food to its mouth, pour its drink into a glass, and 
touch glasses when invited ; fetch a cup and saucer to 
the table, put in sugar, pour out its tea and leave it to 
cool before drinking it ; and all this without any other 
instigation than the signs or words of its master, and 
often of its own accord. It was perfectly harmless ; it 
even approached one with a certain respect, and pre- 
sented itself as if to ask for caresses. It was excessively 
fond of sugar-plums, . . . but ate almost anything, 
although it preferred ripe and dry fruit to all other ali- 
ments ; it drank wine, but in small.quantity, and left 
it willingly for milk, tea, or other mild beverages." 

This description is interesting, as showing the amount 
of education of which the chimpanzee is susceptible ; 
but, perhaps, the most striking example of the intelli- 

gence of this ape is recorded by the French traveller, 
De la Brosse, whose " Voyage to Angola" has been 
already referred to. One of two young chimpanzees 
purchased by this traveller, was taken ill on board ship. 
" He gave himself all the airs, and demanded the same 
care as a human being ; he was even bled twice in the 
right arm ; and afterwards, whenever he felt indisposed, 
he would hold out his arm to be bled, as if conscious 
that it "had done him good." 

Subsequent observations of other specimens in con- 
finement have not only confirmed the idea of the great 
intelligence and gentleness of the chimpanzee conveyed 
by the preceding extracts, but have also thrown more 
light upon the natural habits of the species, and enabled 
recent zoologists to correct some errors into which 
their predecessors had fallen. Thus Buffon, writing 
from recollection, states that his Jocko " always walked 
upright on its hind feet, even when carrying heavy 
loads." The individuals since observed have shown 
that if this was the case, it must have been a result of 
education. The chimpanzee, certainly, appears to have 
a greater power of sustaining itself in a nearly erect 
posture than the other apes ; but in its natural mode 
of progression it exactly resembles the latter, its body 
being inclined forward in walking, and supported upon 
the anterior limbs, of which the knuckles are applied 
to the ground. 

THE GOBILLA (Troglodytes Gorilla), Plate 1, fig. 1. 
We have already, in treating of the chimpanzee, 
indicated that, from the narratives of the older travel- 
lers there has always been reason to believe that two 
large species of apes lived on the west coast of 
Africa. The curious recital of Hanno, already quoted 
(see page 17), may indeed apply to either species ; but 
as early as the close of the sixteenth century, we have 
seen that Andrew Battel clearly indicates " two kinds 
of monsters" as inhabiting the woods of Angola : one 
of these is the chimpanzee; the other, he says, "is 
called Pongo in their language." Of the latter he 
states, that " the pongo is in ah 1 his proportions like a 
man (except the legs, which have no calves), but he is 
of gigantic height. The face, hands, and ears of these 
animals are without hair; their bodies are covered, 
but not very thickly, with hair of a dunnish colour. 
When they walk on the ground, it is upright, with the 
hands on the nape of the neck. They sleep on trees, 
and make a covering to shelter them from the rain. 
They eat no flesh, but feed on nuts and other fruit ; 
nor have they any understanding beyond instinct. 
When the people of the country travel through the 
woods they make fires in the night, and in the morn- 
I ing when they are gone the pongos will come and sit 
I round it till it goes out ; for they do not possess sagacity 
Mfcgh to lay on more wood. They go in bodies, and 
kill many Negroes who travel in the woods. When 
I elephants happen to come and feed where they are, 
they will fall on them, and so beat them with their 
clubbed fists and sticks, that they are forced to run 
away roaring. The grown pongos are never taken 
alive, owing to their strength, which is so great that ten 
men cannot hold one of them. The young hang upon 
their mother's belly, with their hands clasped about 
her. Many of them are taken by shooting the mother? 


with poisoned arrows." Another early English tra- 
veller, Jobson, and Pyrard de Laval, a Frenchman, 
appear to have combined the accounts of the Pongo of 
Battel with the chimpanzee, as was also done at a 
much later period (1738) by De la Brosse. The nar- 
ratives of these writers have already been quoted. 
(See page 17.) 

This view of the identity of the two African apes 
was adopted by Buffon, who regarded the pongo as the 
adult of the animal described by him under the name 
of the jocko, and at the same time confounded both 
with the orang-outan of the great Eastern Islands. 
Later naturalists, whilst admitting the specific and even 
generic difference of the orang and the chimpanzee, 
still referred ah 1 the accounts of the large African 
apes to the latter; and it was not until the year 1829 
that attention was called by Mrs. Bowdich to the 
reported existence of a second species of ape on the 
West African coast. At the close of a paper on the 
habits of the Diana monkey, published in London's 
Magazine of Natural History, that talented lady refers 
briefly to the accounts which she had heard of the 
existence of an animal named Enge'-ena in the coun- 
tries to the north of the Gaboon river. She says : 
" The natives describe it as the largest of all monkeys, 
but of a breadth more tremendous than its height; they 
declare that one blow of its paw would fell a man to 
the earth. Both males and females are very much 
attached to their young, and the latter carry them 
about after death until they drop from their arms. 
They are fond of imitating men ; walk upright ; and 
having seen the natives collect ivory, if they find a 
tusk, they carry it on their shoulders till they sink with 
fatigue." Although some of these statements are 
doubtless fabulous, others have been fully confirmed by 
recent authorities, and it is remarkable that this refer- 
ence to the gorilla should have hitherto escaped the 
attention of naturalists. It was only in 1847 that cer- 
tain evidence of the occurrence of a second species of 
African ape was obtained. In April of that year, Dr. 
Savage, an American missionary, on paying a visit to 
one of his confreres, Dr. Wilson, stationed on the 
Gaboon river (situated almost exactly under the equa- 
tor), obtained several skulls of individuals, of both 
sexes and of different ages, together with some other 
portions of the skeleton of a large ape, which appeared 
to him to differ both from the orang and from the 
chimpanzee. On his return to America, Dr. Savage, 
with the aid of Dr. Wyman, drew up a description of 
these bones, which was published in 1840 in the Boston 
Journal of Natural History; he called the species 
Troglodytes Gorilla, conceiving that it was identical 
with the Gorilloi of Hanno. In the followin 
Professor Owen, who had received sketches of 
skulls from Dr. Savage, and had subsequently obtain 
some specimens by the aid of Mr. Stutchbury of Bristol, 
described the species under the name of Troglodytes 
Savagei; and in 1849 an adult male specimen, pre- 
served in spirits, was brought to Paris by Dr. Fran- 
quet ; a French naval surgeon. A skeleton was subse- 
quently procured for the British Museum, where it has | 
now been for some years; and within the last few ! 
months a fine male, nearly adult, and preserved in , 

spirits, was also obtained, and by this the title of the 
animal to rank as a distinct species has been finally 

This specimen, which is about five feet in height 
when placed in an erect position, has the face and the 
palms of the hands and feet naked and black. The 
head and neck are thickly covered with brownish 
grizzled hair of moderate length, which does not hang 
down at the sides of the face so as to form whiskers, 
as in the chimpanzee. The ears, also, are much 
smaller than in the latter species; they are placed 
very high and far back on the sides of the head. The 
hair of the shoulders and upper part of the arms is 
grizzled ; that of the back and loins has a sooty tinge. 
The fore-arms are covered with stiff, black hair, directed 
up towards the elbow as in the chimpanzee. The hair 
on the chest is very scanty; but the belly is more 
thickly clothed, and the hair of this part is reddish- 
brown, and exceedingly coarse and harsh, having a 
withered appearance. One of the most remarkable 
characters of the species, which is now commonly 
known as the Gorilla, is that the digits of both pairs 
of extremities are united together much further than 
in the chimpanzee, whose hands nearly resemble those 
of the human species; in the new species, on the con- 
trary, the fingers of the hands are united nearly as far 
as the ends of the first phalanges, whilst in the hinder 
hands the union even goes beyond these, leaving only 
four little stumpy fingers free. The thumb of the 
anterior hands is comparatively small ; but that of the 
hinder pair is of enormous size and power, and the 
whole foot forms a grasping apparatus of the most 
tremendous character. From the callous marks upon 
the knuckles it is evident that the Gorilla, when on 
the ground, walks upon all-fours, and that he does 
not apply the whole lower surface of the foot to the 
ground ; in fact the digits of the hinder hands appear 
to be bent naturally in such a way as to render this 

The inspection of the specimen above described, 
which has been most admirably prepared, in spite of 
almost insuperable difficulties, by Mr. Bartlett, is quite 
sufficient to justify all the accounts given by travellers 
of the fearful powers of the gorilla. Although not 
fully mature, as is shown by the state of its dentition, 
the vast bulk of its body, far exceeding that of even 
the most powerful men, its long arms, and enormously 
large hands and feet, produce an impression of almost 
irresistible strength ; and when we consider that besides 
this enormous grasping power to attempt to escape 
from which would be utterly hopeless the adult male 
is furnished with canine teeth as large as those of a 
carnivorous beast, set in immensely powerful jaws, of 
which the lower one, as evidenced by the great deve- 
lopment of the crests upon the skull, is moved by 
temporal muscles of enormous bulk; we can easily 
imagine that such a creature must be one of the most 
terrible antagonists that a man could well meet with, 
and cease to wonder that the Negro elephant-hunters 
should dread him even more than the lion. 

Whether the gorilla really attains the immense size 
of six or seven feet attributed to him by some travellers, 
is still rather doubtful. The specimen in the Paris 



Museum measured about five feet four inches in total 
height; and a missionary named Walker is said to have 
obtained one measuring five feet eight inches, but this is 
the largest on record. Considering the structure of the 
animal, however, we can easily believe Battel's state- 
ment that ten men would be unable to overcome a 
single adult even of this size ; and the great dread 
which the natives entertain for it, coupled with the 
difficulty of transplanting such a huge carcass through 
its native forests to any place frequented by Europeans, 
is a sufficient explanation of our long ignorance even 
of the existence of the gorilla. 

From the statements of Dr. Savage and others, it 
appears that the gorilla inhabits the district through 
which flow the Gaboon and Danger rivers. Its dwell- 
ing is in the interior of the country, whilst the chim- 
panzee is met with on the coast. The tribe of Negroes 
inhabiting this district is called Mpongwe, whence, 
according to Dr. Wilson, is derived the name of Pongo, 
applied to the species by Battel the native name of 
the animal being Enge-ena. 

In their native forests the gorillas live in troops, 
hich, however, are not so numerous as those of the 
chimpanzees, and consist principally of females ; and 
all the natives who furnished Dr. Savage with informa- 
tion upon their habits, agreed in stating that there is 
only one adult male to each troop, and that as the 
young males grow up, they engage in contests for the 
superiority, when the strongest, by killing or driving 
off all the others, establishes himself as the chief of the 
band. The adult male, according to the statements of 
the Negroes, never meets a man in the woods without 
attacking him. When first seen, he sets up a fearful 
howling, the sound of which has been compared to 
the syllables Jcha-ah! kha-dh! opens his mouth to 
exhibit his terrible teeth, and contracts the skin of his 
face, so as to acquire an appearance of incredible fero- 
city. The females and the young disappear with the 
first sound of battle, and the male then advances upon 
his enemy in a state of perfect fury, repeating his cries 
at every step. Of course the hunter's only chance under 
such circumstances is to kill his assailant with a single 
shot; and as this is not always an easy matter, the 
Negroes are said to recommend the adoption of a course 
which certainly requires more coolness than falls to 
the lot of most men. The best plan of making sure of 
a gorilla, according to this account, is to allow him to 
approach until he grasps the barrel of the gun, and 
then to fire at the moment when, as his custom is, he 
is about to bite the muzzle. If the piece miss fire, the 
gorilla is said to crush the barrel between his teeth, 
when, of course, he makes short work with his unfor- 
tunate antagonist. Hence, as we may suppose, the 
Negroes are not very anxious to go in pursuit of the 
gorillas, and only attempt their destruction in self- 
defence, when they come suddenly upon them in jour- 
neying through the forest, or in their elephant-hunting 
expeditions. The destruction of a gorilla is looked 
upon as a most honourable exploit. Dr. Savage 
records a case in which a Negro slave, having succeeded 
in killing an elephant, on his return met with a male 
gorilla, which, being a good marksman, he shot, and 
poon afterwards, falling in with a female, killed her also. 

These feats, performed in a single day, were looked 
upon as almost superhuman ; the fortunate slave was 
immediately set free, and pronounced the prince of 
hunters. Captain Wagstaff, who brought the first skulls 
of the gorilla to England, furnished Professor Owen 
with information of a somewhat similar nature, and 
added that when the natives succeed in killing one of 
these animals, they make a fetish of the skull ; those 
brought home by him had been used in this way, and 
still exhibited traces of sacred marks in the form of red 
and white streaks. Although the male is thus so for- 
midable an enemy to man, Dr. Savage denies that 
there is any truth in the stories of their forcing Negresses 
to accompany them to their retreats in the woods, or 
attacking the elephants with clubs, narrated both of 
this and the preceding species by the older writers. 
These stories, however, are confirmed by a recent 
French traveller, M. G-autier Laboulaye; but upon 
what authority does not appear. Their food, as stated 
by Battel, consists of nuts and fruits ; and, according to 
Dr. Savage, they are espeeially fond of the acid fruits 
of some species of Amomum, and of those of the oil 
palm (Ela'is guineensis], the Papaw (Carica papaya), 
and the Banana (Musa sapientum). They are also 
said to be partial to sugar-canes. 

THE OBANG-OTTTAS (Simia Safyrus). Plate 1, 
fig. 2. 

The remarkable man-like apes of the great Indian 
islands, appear to have been entirely unknown to the 
ancients, unless Pliny's mention of Indian satyrs 
refers to the orang-outan. It is not, indeed, until the 
middle of the seventeenth century, that we find any 
notice of these animals in the writings of Europeans. 
About this period, the Orang-outon is mentioned by 
Johnston in his " Historia Animalium," but described 
as brought from Angola. In 1658, however, some 
genuine observations upon the orang, were published 
in Holland; their author, Bontius, a Dutch physician 
residing in Batavia, having seen " several of these 
satyrs of both sexes" in that country. The English 
anatomist, Tyson, whose work on the chimpanzee has 
already been quoted, also refers to the orang-outan, 
upon the appearance and habits of which he had 
obtained some details from a French missionary, 
named Lecomte ; and a little later, Leguat, a French 
voyager, gave a description of a large ape which he 
saw in captivity in Java, and which could only have 
been an orang-outan. The notices of the species then 
become more frequent in works on Natural History; 
but the two great authorities of the eighteenth cen- 
tury, Linnaeus and Buffon, both agreed in regarding 
the great Indian and African apes as belonging to a 
[ingle species. They were imperfectly distinguished 

iGmelin, who still describes the pongo as a variety 
of the orang-outan, inhabiting both Java and Guinea. 
Since the chimpanzee has been clearly recognized as 
a species distinct from the orang, there has been a 
tendency to multiply the species of the large Eastern 
apes; and we find no less than six supposed species 
described by different authors, principally from pecu- 
liarities in the structure of the skeleton. It would 
appear, however, from the recent observations of Mr. 
A. R. Wallace upon the orangs of Borneo, that some 



of the characters which have been chiefly relied upon 
for the discrimination of these species are fallacious. 
The Bornean orangs all seem to be referable to two 
species, the differences between which are, as Mr. 
Wallace observes, well marked in the males, but much 
less distinct in the females. Both these species appear 
to be called Orang-outan, or " man of the woods, " by 
the Malays of the coast of Borneo, but the Dyaks, who 
are more familiar with them, call them Mias, and dis- 
tinguish two or three kinds by particular names. 

The largest, species found in Borneo, and the one 
which is most abundant there, may be regarded as the 
true orang-outan, or Simia Satyrus of Linnaeus. It 
is called Mias Pappan, Mias Chappan, and Mias Zimb 
by the natives; the second name, according to Sir 
James Brooke, being applied to it by the Malays. 
The arms are of great length, reaching nearly to the 
heel when the animal is in an erect posture; the body 
is covered with long reddish hairs, which form a long 
beard pendent from the chin; the hairs of the fore-arms 
are turned towards the elbow, in the same way as in 
the chimpanzee and gorilla; the face is naked, and, in 
the males, greatly expanded at the sides by two large 
fatty protuberances on the cheeks; the ears are small 
and rounded, and greatly resemble those of man in 
form; and the lips are very large, and capable of 
being protruded and retracted to a great extent. The 
largest adult males met with by Mr. Wallace in 
Borneo, measured four feet two inches in height, from 
the crown of the head to the heel ; but if we can believe 
the accounts of other travellers, the species must attain 
much larger dimensions. M. Temminck mentions 
his having heard of a Bornean specimen of five feet 
three inches in height ; and a specimen from Sumatra, 
described by Dr. Clarke Abel, was said to measure 
about seven feet. The females are considerably 
smaller than the males. 

In the orang there is a remarkably large guttural 
pouch descending in front of the sternum, and com- 
municating with the wind-pipe, from which it may be 
greatly inflated with air. This occurs also, although 
far less developed, in the chimpanzee and gorilla. 

The observations of M. Salomon Miiller, and of 
Mr. Wallace, have furnished us with a tolerably com- 
plete history of the orang-outan in a state of nature. 
This animal lives in the lofty primaeval forests of 
Borneo and Sumatra, but only in the swampy dis- 
tricts, where the forest is unbroken, and the interlacing 
branches afford him a means of passing readily from 
tree to tree, without the labour of descending to the 
ground. Mr. Wallace describes it as a " singular and 
most interesting sight to watch a mias making his way 
leisurely through the forest. He walks deliberately 
along the branches, in the semi-erect attitude which 
the great length of his arms, and the shortness of his 
! legs give him ; choosing a place where the boughs of 
i an adjacent tree intermingle, he seizes the smaller 
twigs, pulls them towards him, grasps them together 
| with those of the tree he is on, and thus, forming a 
kind of bridge, swings himself onward, and seizing hold 
of a thick branch with his long arms, is in an instant 
walking along to the opposite side of the tree. He 
never jumps or springs, or even appears to hurry him- 

self, and yet moves as quickly as a man can run along 
the ground beneath." Unlike the chimpanzee and the 
gorilla, it is a solitary creature ; Mr. Wallace says, that 
he has " never seen two adult animals together; but 
both males and females are sometimes accompanied 
by half-grown young ones, or two or three of the latter 
go in company." 

When not disturbed, or in search of food, the orang 
appears to be sedentary in its habits. It sleeps every 
night on a nest made by breaking off the leafy branches 
of trees, and laying them over each other upon a forked 
horizontal branch, until it forms a bed so thick as to 
conceal it entirely from below ; in rainy weather it is 
also said to cover itself in a similar manner with small 
branches and leaves, and to keep its bed till about nine 
o'clock, when the sun has become hot enough to dis- 
perse the mists. The nest is usually placed at about 
fifty or sixty feet from the ground. As the same animal 
appears seldom to use these nests more than once or 
twice, they are very abundant in places frequented by 
the mias. 

The food of the orang-outan consists almost entirely 
of fruits ; but when these are scarce, the tender shoots 
and leaves of trees do not come amiss to him. An old 
male was once found to have in his stomach fragments 
of the bark of trees of upwards of a foot in length. 
According to Mr. Wallace they seem to prefer their 
fruit unripe, and many of them are intensely bitter ; par- 
ticularly the large, red, fleshy arillus of one fruit, which 
seems to be an especial favourite. Of another large 
fruit they only eat the small seed, and in search of this 
destroy great quantities of the fruit. " The Durian 
(Durio zibethirms}" says Mr. Wallace, "is also a great 
favourite, and the mias destroys large quantities of this 
delicious fruit, in places where it grows surrounded by 
lofty jungle, but will not pass over clearings to get at 
them. It seems wonderful how the animal can tear 
open this fruit, the outer covering of which is so thick, 
tough, and densely covered with strong, conical spines. 
It probably bites a few of these off first, and then, mak- 
ing a small hole, tears the fruit open with its powerful 
fingers." In some places the orangs appear to be 
somewhat migratory in their habits, moving after par- 
ticular fruits of which they are fond ; thus they are 
said to move into the southern parts of Borneo, and to 
make their appearance on the right bank of the river 
Dousson, at the period when the fruits of a certain 
species of fig (Ficus infectoria) are ripe. After this 
they disappear from those localities. They seem rarely 
to descend to the ground except in search of water, 
which they drink by taking a little up in their hands . 
and letting it flow into the lower lip, which is protruded 
so as to form a sort of channel for this purpose. When 
on the ground they walk on all-fours, like the other 
apes, and appear to have less power of maintaining 
themselves in an erect posture than the chimpanzees. 
Some individuals, in confinement, have been seen to 
move along a flat surface by resting on the knuckles of 
their hands, and then throwing the body and legs for- 
ward in the manner of a lame man on crutches ; this 
mode of progression is not natural to the species, as has 
been supposed, but appears only to be adopted by sickly 



The orangs appear to have little fear of man, but 
will often stare down upon an intruder for a few minutes 
and then remove slowly to a short distance. When 
pursued, however, as they often are by the Dyaks, who 
kill them with poisoned arrows and eat their flesh, they 
manifest some alarm, and endeavour to get as quickly 
as possible into the loftiest tree in their neighbourhood, 
when they climb rapidly to the higher branches, break- 
ing off the smaller boughs in their passage, and throw- 
ing them down as if to intimidate their pursuers. This 
habit has been exaggerated by some travellers into a 
truly offensive action, and the orang has been described 
as throwing branches down at its enemies ; whilst, on 
the other hand, M. Temminck has altogether denied 
that the creature breaks the boughs on purpose to 
throw them down. According to Mr. Wallace, how- 
ever, this is actually the case, although, as he states, 
the orang " does not throw them at a person, but casts 
them down vertically." He adds that " in one case, 
a female mias, on a dtirian tree, kept up for at least ten 
minutes a continuous shower of branches and of the 
heavy spined fruits, as large as 32-pounders, which 
most effectually kept us clear of the tree she was on. 
She could be seen breaking them off and throwing them 
down with every appearance of rage, uttering at inter- 
vals a loud pumping grunt, and evidently meaning 

In this way the orang remains at the top of the tree 
on which he has taken refuge, never venturing to de- 
scend either to attack his pursuers, or to escape, by 
means of the interlacing lower branches, to another 
tree ; but when badly wounded, he sets about making 
a bed similar to his ordinary nightly lair, on which he 
lays himself down to die. This nest effectually screens 
him from below, and he will not quit it after it is once 
completed. Mr. Wallace states that he lost two speci- 
mens in this way ; they died upon their beds, and he 
could not get any one to climb up or cut down the 
tree until the next day, when decomposition had com- 

The tenacity of life in the orangs is exceedingly great, 
and it usually requires from six to twelve bullets in the 
body to kill them. An example of this tenacity of life 
was afforded by the Sumatran specimen described by 
Dr. Clarke Abel, and already alluded to on account 
of its great size. This animal was found at a place 
called Ramboon, on the north-west coast of Sumatra, 
by a boat's crew who had landed to procure water. 
He was upon one of a few trees standing in the midst 
of cultivated ground. On the approach of the party 
he came to the ground, but soon made his escape to 
another tree at a little distance, and was afterwards 
driven to take refuge in a small clump. Here his 
movements were so quick that it was very difficult to 
get a shot at him ; and it was only after cutting down 
several of the trees that his pursuers succeeded in 
shooting him. He received five balls, some of which 
struck him in the body, when he relaxed in his exer- 
tions, and reclining exhausted on one of the branches 
of a tree, vomited a considerable quantity of blood. 
" The ammunition of the hunters being by this time 
expended," says Dr. Abel, " they were obliged to fell 
the tree in order to obtain him ; and did this in full 

confidence that his power was so far gone that they 
could secure him without trouble ; but were astonished, 
as the tree was falling, to see him effect his retreat to 
another with apparently undimiuished vigour. In fact, 
they were obliged to cut down all the trees before they 
could drive him to combat his enemies on the ground, 
against whom he still exhibited surprising strength and 
agility, although he was at length overpowered by 
numbers, and destroyed by the thrusts of spears, and 
the blows of stones and other missiles. When nearly 
in a dying state, he seized a spear made of a supple 
wood, which would have withstood the strength of the 
stoutest man, and shivered it in pieces. In the words 
of the narrator, ' he broke it as if it had been a carrot.' 
It is stated by those who aided in his death, that the 
human-like expression of his countenance and piteous 
manner of placing his hands over his wounds, distressed 
their feelings, and almost made them question the 
nature of the act they were committing. When dead, 
both natives and Europeans contemplated his figure 
with amazement. His stature, at the lowest computa- 
tion, was upwards of six feet at the highest it wa? 
nearly eight;" but, from the examination of the skin, 
Dr. Abel concludes that he must have been about seven 
feet in height. 

M. Salomon Miiller also mentions a male orang, 
about four feet in height, which had been wounded by 
the Dyaks with poisoned arrows, and afterwards cap- 
tured by them alive. Although suffering greatly from 
his wounds, this animal exhibited great strength and 
ferocity ; he would rise slowly from his ordinary crouch- 
ing position, and then, seizing a favourable moment, 
would dash impetuously towards the spectators, darting 
his long arms through the bars of his cage, and gene- 
rally attempting to reach the faces of those nearest to 

Like the other apes, it appears that the orang, when 
attacked, never makes use of his large canine teeth to 
defend himself, but trusts entirely to the enormous 
strength of his long arms. His enemies, however, in 
the' forest solitudes which he frequents are very few. 
In Sumatra, the tiger may occasionally pounce upon 
an unlucky orang, when on his way to the water ; but 
in Borneo, the only inhabitant of the forests that would 
be at all a formidable enemy to the orang is the Bor- 
nean bear, and as this animal is almost as exclusively 
devoted to a vegetable diet as the orang himself, it is 
hard to see what cause of quarrel can arise between 
them. Mr. Wallace says '' The Dyaks are unani- 
mous in their statements that the mias never either 
attacks or is attacked by any animal, with one excep- 
tion which is highly curious, and would hardly be 
credible were it not confirmed by the testimony of 
several independent parties, who have been eye-wit- 
nesses of the circumstance. The only animal the mias 
measures his strength with is the crocodile of these 
regions (Crocodilus Biporcatus?). The account of the 
natives is as follows: 'When there is little fruit in 
the jungle, the mias goes to the river side to eat the 
fruits that grow there, and also the young shoots ot 
some palm-trees which are found at the water's edge. 
The crocodile then sometimes tries to seize him, but he 
gets on the reptile's back, beats it with his hands and feet 



on the head and neck, and pulls open its jaws till he 
rips up the throat. The mias always kills the croco- 
dile, for he is very strong. There is no animal in the 
jungle so strong as he.'" 

The female orangs, like the other large apes, pro- 
duce only one young at a birth, and this clings for a 
considerable time to the long hair of its mother's body, 
and is thus carried about ; the four limbs of the mother 
being left at perfect liberty. In fact, so little does the 
presence of a young one impede the movements of the 
mother, that Mr. Wallace mentions his having shot 
two females, bearing their young in this way, without 
being aware of the existence of the latter until both 
fell to the ground. It is by shooting the mothers that 
the natives obtain nearly all the young orangs which 
they sell to Europeans. 

For some time after their birth, the young orangs 
appear to be nearly as helpless as the human infant, 
although of course the mere fact of their supporting 
themselves by grasping the hair of their mother, is 
evidence of a far greater amount of strength than is 
possessed by a young child. Mr. Wallace has published 
a most interesting account of the habits of an " infant" 
orang-outan which he obtained by shooting its mother, 
from which we shall extract a few passages. He fed 
it with rice-water out of a bottle with a quill in the 
cork, which, after one or two trials, it sucked very well. 
" When a finger was placed in its mouth, it would suck 
at it with remarkable vigour, drawing in its little cheeks 
with all its might, thinking, no doubt, it had got hold 
of the right thing at last, and wondering that all its 
exertions could get no milk out of it. It would perse- 
vere for a long time, till at last it gave up with despair 
and disgust, indicated generally by a very baby-like 
scream." It was quiet when nursed, but cried when 
laid down alone. When being washed it winced, " and 
made ridiculously wry faces " when the cold water was 
poured on its head, but it enjoyed being rubbed dry, 
and was particularly delighted with being brushed. 
At first it clung vigorously with its four hands to any- 
thing that was within its reach ; and on one occasion 
having caught hold of its owner's whiskers and beard, 
clutched them so tightly that he had considerable diffi- 
culty in getting free. From the want of its natural 
grasping exercise, Mr. Wallace found that his baby 
orang was getting rather weak in its limbs, and 
he therefore contrived a sort of ladder upon which it 
might hang. This, however, did not answer ; the sticks 
not affording it a convenient hold for all its four hands. 
It would hang for a time by two hands only, and then, 
getting tired of this posture, would move one hand over 
to the opposite shoulder to grasp its own hair ; when 
" thinking, no doubt, that that would support it much 
better than the stick, it would leave hold with the other 
hand, and come tumbling down on to the floor." Mr. 
Wallace then prepared a sort of artificial mother for 
it, by rolling up a piece of buffalo-skin into a bundle 
with the hair outside. This suited it much better, but, 
unfortunately, it was only too natural. " The poor 
little creature thinking it had recovered its mother was 
continually trying to suck. It would pull itself up close 
by the strength of its arms, and try everywhere for a 
likely place, but only succeeded in getting mouthfuls of 

wool, when of course it would be greatly disgusted, 
scream violently, and if not rescued would soon let 
itself fall." 

When fed with a spoon this infant orang indicated 
its approval or dislike of the food offered to it by the 
most ludicrous changes of its countenance licking its 
lips, drawing in its cheeks, and turning up its eyes, like 
a true epicure, when the food was to its taste turning 
the mouthful about with its tongue, and pushing it out 
between its lips when it was not palatable. If the same 
food was continued it would scream and kick violently, 
exactly like a baby in a passion. About a month after 
it came into Mr. Wallace's possession, it began to show 
some signs of learning the use of its legs. When laid 
on the floor it would push itself along, or roll over, and 
when left in its cradle would lift itself up into an erect 
posture, and once or twice succeeded in tumbling out. 
tt did not, however, grow, or gain strength a circum- 
stance which Mr. Wallace attributes to his being unable 
to feed it with milk ; and it died in a miserable state 
after being in his possession about three months. 

The specimens of the orang- outau which have been 
brought to Europe have been, for the most part, young 
individuals. In their general habits, their gentleness 
and docility, they resemble the chimpanzees; but 
appear scarcely to be so lively as those animals. Like 
them, they exhibit a great affection for men, and espe- 
cially for those who have the care of them ; they also 
sometimes manifest considerable attachment for other 
animals, especially cats, but appear to entertain a sort 
of contempt for other monkeys, although they will 
occasionally condescend to play with them. Like the 
chimpanzee they learn to sit at table, eat with a knife 
and fork, drink from a glass, etc.; they sometimes 
acquire a taste for intoxicating drinks, and under the 
influence of this have even been known to steal both 
wine and spirits. 

Full-grown specimens do not appear to bear captivity, 
and indeed their great strength and ferocity render 
them dangerous. Nevertheless, some of the older tra- 
vellers, such as Leguat, Bontius, D'Obsonville, and 
Relian, mention their having seen large specimens in 
confinement in Java ; and some of these, from their 
size, must have been adult or nearly so. The accounts 
of these travellers ascribe a wonderful amount of 
modesty to these apes, especially the females; the 
last-mentioned writer says that both the male and 
female " were very bashful when you looked fixedly at 
them, and the female would then throw herself into 
the arms of the male and hide her head in his breast. 
This touching sight I have witnessed with my own 

Of the second species of orang found in Borneo, called 
Mias Kassu by the natives (Simia Morio of Professor 
Owen), Mr. Wallace says that its habits are precisely 
similar to those of the larger species, from which it is 
distinguished by the absence of the fatty excrescences 
on the cheeks, and by the much greater comparative 
size of the teeth, and especially of the canines in the 
males. The females of the two species appear to be 
scarcely distinguishable, except by the difference of size, 
and by the smaller ones having the two middle incisor 
teeth in the upper jaw proportionally larger, a character 



which also occurs in the smaller males. Mr. Wallace 
also heard the Dyaks mention a third kind of orang 
under the name of Mias Rambi, which is said to equal 
the large species in size, but to be destitute of the cheek- 
excrescences, and clothed with very long hair. Mr. 
Wallace supposes it to be founded on specimens of the 
large orang, in which the excrescences have been but 
little developed. The other described species of the 
genus Simia appear to have been established on insuf- 
ficient characters. 

That we have devoted so much space to the natural 
history of the preceding large apes the chimpanzee, 
the gorilla, and the orang-outan is to be attributed 
to the interest which attaches to these creatures, as 
forming, next to our own species, the highest members 
of the animal kingdom. This circumstance, and the 
exaggerated notions frequently entertained of the extent 
to which these creatures approach man, both in their 
structure and endowments, have led us to dwell upon 
them at far greater length than will be necessary in 
treating of the rest of the Quadrumana, and also to 
confine ourselves principally to their history in a state 
of nature, in which, alone, their true character can 
come freely into play. 

Hylobates). The remainder of the true apes all 
belong to the genus Hylobates, the species of which are 
now commonly known as Gibbons ; they are the Long- 
armed Apes of the older writers on zoology. They are 
all inhabitants of the region of the East Indies a few 
living on the continent of Asia, whilst the majority 
are confined to the islands of the Eastern Archipelago, 
especially Sumatra, Java, and Borneo. 

Pliny's reference to satyrs living in the East Indies 
is probably founded partly upon the imperfect accounts 
of gibbons which had reached him. Thus he says, 
that " Tauron mentions a savage tribe, under the name 
of Choromandce, which have no speech, but utter 
horrid screams; they have hairy bodies, fiery eyes, 
and teeth like dogs;" and adds that "Megasthenes 
relates that amongst the nomade Indians there is a 
tribe which, instead of a nose, have only two holes ; 
they have bandy legs, which they can twist about like 
snakes, and are called Scyritcs." Marco Polo states 
that the inhabitants of Java were in the habit of shav- 
ing and embalming the bodies of gibbons, which they 
then sold as pigmies to the merchants who visited their 
coast in search of drugs and spices. This was pro- 
bably done in still more ancient times, and it may have 
been by such means that the ancients became aware 
of the existence of these so-called satyrs. 

The gibbons have the arms still longer in proportion 
than the orangs, but, like them, have the hairs of the 
fore-arm turned up towards the elbow. They have the 
palms of all the hands naked ; the thumbs of the fore- 
hands are cleft very low down, so that the metacarpal 
joint of the thumb is not included in the palm of the 
hand, and the thumbs thus appear to consist of three 
joints ; the first and second toes are more or less united, 
and this is also sometimes the case with the second 
and third. The skull is smaller than in the orangs, 
and the brain is smaller, and presents a greater resem- 
blance to that of the monkeys, and less likeness to that 

of man than the same organ in the chimpanzee and 
orang. The intelligence of these apes is also inferior. 
A further difference from the other apes is to be found 
in the presence of callosities upon the buttocks of the 
gibbons a character which is of importance as indi- 
cating an approach to the monkeys. With one excep- 
tion that of the siamang they appear to be quite 
destitute of the large sacs appended to the wind-pipe, 
which occur in the orangs, and also, but rather less 
developed in the chimpanzee and gorilla, and even 
in some of the lower monkeys. The number of ribs 
varies from twelve to fourteen. 

The general habits of the gibbons appear to be 
rather sedentary than otherwise. Their movements 
are slow ; their nature gentle, and rather melancholy ; 
and they do not appear to lose their mildness of dispo- 
sition so much as the other apes, as they increase in 
age. They live in troops in the forests, and usually 
raise a tremendous howling noise in concert in the 
morning and evening. Of the rather numerous species 
of gibbons described, we need only refer to a few of 
the best known. The first species that was accurately 
described and figured was 

the Grand Gibbon of Buffon, which was placed by Lin- 
nseus, in the earlier editions of his " System a Naturae," in 
the same genus with the orangs and the human species. 
This animal, which is between two and three feet in 
height, is of a uniform black or brownish-black colour, 
with the exception of the backs of the four hands, and 
a broad band encircling the face, which are whitish. 
The black hair of the body and limbs is erect and 
woolly ; the white hair of the hands is coarse, harsh, 
straight, and depressed. It is an inhabitant of the 
peninsula of Malacca, of Siam, and probably also of 
some neighbouring regions. The living specimen 
observed by Buffon is described by him as being " of a 
tranquil nature, and of gentle manners. Its move- 
ments were neither very lively nor very precipitate. 
It received gently what was given it to eat ; and it was 
fed on bread, fruit, almonds, etc. It had a great dread 
of cold and moisture, and did not live long out of its 
native country." 

THE HOOLOC (Hylobates Hooloc) is another con- 
tinental species, found principally in the district of 
Assam, as far north as the 28th degree of latitude. It 
is one of the largest species, measuring, when full grown, 
upwards of four feet in height. It is covered with 
harsh, shining, black hair, with a broad white or greyish 
band across the forehead, above the eyebrows. 

Their food consists principally of fruits; but they also 
eat some kinds of grass, and the young shoots and 
leaves of the peepul and other trees, which they chew, 
swallow the juice, and then reject the indigestible part 
They are said to go in herds of from one hundred to one 
hundred and fifty individuals, raising a howling noise, 
which may be heard at a great distance. Dr. Burrough, 
who forwarded an account of the habits of this species 
to Dr. Harlan, says that " they are easily tamed, and 
when first taken, show no disposition to bite, unless pro- 
voked to anger, and even then manifest a reluctance to 
defend themselves, preferring to retreat to some cor- 
ner rather than to attack their enemy;" but, according 



to Mr. Owen, as quoted by Mr. Blyth, they occasion- 
ally attack the natives, and bite them severely ; and 
Mr. Owen himself was once surrounded by a troop of 
them, which he disturbed whilst washing themselves 
in a stream, and felt convinced that, had he not taken 
to his heels, they would have attacked him. The same 
gentleman states that these apes appear to destroy 
large snakes. His attention was once attracted by the 
noise made by them in some trees over his head. On 
stopping to examine into the cause of the uproar, he 
was disagreeably startled by the sudden fall of a python, 
six or seven feet in length, which was bitten in many 
places, and nearly dead. 

According to Dr. Burrough the hoolocs walk erect 
with great ease, balancing themselves by raising their 
urms above their heads ; but if urged to greater speed 
they drop their hands to the ground, and assist them- 
selves forward, jumping rather than running. If they 
succeed in making their way to a grove of trees, they 
swing with such astonishing rapidity from branch to 
branch and from tree to tree, that they are soon lost 
in the forest. In confinement they are gentle and 
tractable, and appear to entertain some affection for 
their master. In drinking they dip their hands into 
the liquid and then suck their fingers ; but when very 
thirsty, they will take up the vessel containing their drink 
with both hands, and carry it to their lips, so as to get 
a more considerable draught. A specimen in Dr. 
Burrough's possession was fed principally upon fruits, 
boiled rice, and bread and milk, but would also eat 
cooked animal food, especially chicken and fried fish ; 
he rejected beef and pork; he liked eggs, coffee, and 
chocolate, and was very fond of insects, searching in 
the crevices for spiders, and if a fly chanced to come 
within his reach, would dexterously catch it in one 
hand. Hence we may infer, that insects constitute 
a portion of the natural food of the hooloc, and 
probably also of the other gibbons. The cry of the 
specimen just referred to, was a loud and shrill whoo- 
whoo, whoo-whoo. 

The hooloc was considered by Mr. Ogilby to be 
probably the origin of Pliny's Scyritai, and described by 
him, in consequence, under the name of Hylobates 

THE SIAMANG (Hylobaies Syndactylus] is the largest 
and most powerful species of the genus, and is entirely 
of a black colour, with the exception of a few hairs of 
a reddish tinge upon the eyebrows and chin. The 
hair is long and coarse, but glossy; the belly is nearly 
naked, and the throat completely so ; it incloses a 
large sac communicating with the larynx, which can 
be filled with air at the pleasure of the animal, and 
when thus distended forms a huge goitre-like swelling 
of the neck. This sac, which exactly resembles that 
of the orang-outan, is supposed to assist in augmenting 
the power of the tremendous voice of this animal ; it 
also indicates an approach, on the part of the siamang, 
to the higher apes, which, like him, occur in the forests 
of Sumatra. 

The siamang was the first species of gibbon in 

which the union of the first and second digits of the 

hinder hands was noticed ; and indeed this character is 

presented by this animal so much more strongly than 

VOL. I. 

in the other species of the genus, that it well deserves 
the name of Syndactylus, applied to it by Sir Stamford 
Baffles. This peculiarity has even induced Dr. Gray 
and M. Boitard to propose the formation of a separate 
genus for its reception. 

M. Duvaucel, who discovered this species in the 
neighbourhood of Bencoolen in Sumatra, states that the 
siamangs are very common in the forests, where they 
assemble in numerous troops, led by a chief, whom the 
Malays believe to be invulnerable, probably because he 
is more powerful, active, and difficult to get at than the 
rest. These troops salute the rising and setting sun 
with the most terrific cries, which may be heard at a 
distance of several miles, and which, when near, stun 
those whom they do not frighten. This is the morning 
call of the mountain Malays, but to the inhabitants of 
the towns it is a most insupportable annoyance. By way 
of compensation, they preserve a most profound silence 
in the daytime, at least if their repose is not disturbed. 
M. Duvaucel adds, that they are slow and heavy in 
their gait, so that they may be easily caught when 
surprised, especially on the ground ; but, on the other 
hand, their vigilance is so great, and their sense of 
hearing so delicate, that it is by no means an easy 
matter to surprise them, as at the least noise, even 
though it be at a mile's distance, they take to flight. 
On the ground they advance by jerks, using their long 
arms like crutches. When one of a troop is wounded 
it is immediately abandoned by the rest, unless it 
happens to be a young one, when the mother stops, 
falls with it, and, uttering the most lamentable cries, 
attacks the enemy with open mouth and extended 
arms. Under ordinary circumstances also, the females, 
according to M. Duvaucel, bestow an amount of care 
upon their offspring which seems almost to belong to a 
rational sentiment. He says " II is a curious and 
interesting spectacle to see the females carry their 
young to the river, wash their faces in spite of their 
childish outcries, and altogether bestow upon their 
cleanliness a time and attention, which, in many cases, 
the children of our own species might well envy." 

In confinement the siamang, according to M. Duvau- 
cel, is gentle, but stupid and sluggish ; in fact, from his 
account it would appear, that the very gentleness of 
the animal is merely due to its apathy. Mr. George 
Bennett, however, who obtained a specimen of this 
animal at Singapore in 1830, has published a far more 
favourable account of its endowments. Mr. Bennett de- 
scribes his specimen as always walking erect when on a 
level surface, sometimes holding his arms down so as to 
assist himself, by touching the ground with his knuckles 
occasionally, but more usually raising them over his 
head, ready to seize a rope and climb up on the 
approach of danger. This animal preferred vegetable 
food, and was especially fond of carrots ; when these 
were put upon the table for dinner, the siamang, 
although usually very decorous in his behaviour, 
immediately forgot his good manners, and it was not 
without some difficulty that he could be prevented 
from attacking them uninvited. " A piece of carrot," 
says Mr. Bennett, " would draw him from one end of 
the table to the other, over which he would walk with- 
out disturbing a single article, although the ship was 



rolling at the time ; so admirably can these creatures 
balance themselves." He would drink tea, coffee, and 
chocolate, but never acquired a taste for wine or 
spirits; he was excessively fond of sweet things, and 
sometimes attempted to lift off the lid of the jar in 
which some cakes were kept; he would eat animal 
food, especially fowl ; and a lizard having been caught 
on board was placed before him, when he instantly 
seized it, and devoured it greedily. This specimen 
exhibited great attachment to his master, and when 
first sold to a European owner, made his escape several 
times, in order to get back to a young Malay who had 
brought him from Sumatra to Singapore. He exhibited 
considerable activity in climbing about the rigging of 
the ship, was greatly irritated when confined or dis- 
appointed in any way, and on passing the Cape, finding 
the temperature too low to allow of his sleeping on the 
maintop, as had previously been his habit, he showed 
an eager desire to be taken into his master's arms, and 
to be permitted to pass the night in the cabin, for 
which he afterwards evinced such a decided partiality, 
that, on the ship getting again into warmer latitudes, 
he would not resume his old station in the maintop, but 
showed a strong determination to remain where he 
found himself so comfortable. We cannot quote 
farther from the interesting account of Mr. Bennett ; 
but the preceding statements will be sufficient to show 
that the endowments of this animal are far higher than 
we should be led to believe from the statements of M. 

THE AGILE GIBBON (Hylobates Agilis). The agile 
gibbon, which is called Ungka-puti by the Malays 
(Ungka being apparently a generic name for the 
gibbous) is, like the siamang, a native of Sumatra, 
where it was discovered by M. Duvaucel. It is, how- 
ever, far less numerous in the forests of that island than 
the siamangs, and is more frequently met with in pairs 
than in troops. The colours of the agile gibbon are 
more variegated than those of the preceding species ; 
the head and shoulders, the inside of the arms and legs, 
and the whole front of the body being of a deep coffee- 
brown colour ; whilst the occiput, the whole of the back, 
except the shoulders, and the outside of the thighs are 
pale brownish-white. The sides of the face are adorned 
with bushy white whiskers, and a narrow white band 
runs across the forehead above the eyebrows. 

M. Duvaucel contrasts the agility of this gibbon 
with the comparative sluggishness of the siamang as 
described by him; but it seems probable, from the 
narratives of other observers, that the difference be- 
tween these two species in this respect is far less than 
M. Duvaucel would make it appear. In describing its 
surprising activity, the French naturalist says "It 
escapes like a bird, and like a bird can only be shot, so 
to speak, flying ; scarcely has it perceived the most 
distant approach of danger when it is already far away. 
Climbing rapidly to the tops of the trees, it there seizes 
the most flexible branch, poises itself two or three times 
to secure its balance and acquire a sufficient impetus, 
and thus clears, time after time, without effort as with- 
out fatigue, spaces of forty feet and upwards." The 
same writer adds, that although deprived of the 
guttural sac, so conspicuous in the siamang, its cry 

is very nearly the same, so that either this organ dues 
not produce the effect of increasing the sound usually 
attributed to it, or it is replaced in the present species 
by some analogous formation. This cry is compared 
to the syllables wou-wou, frequently repeated with 
peculiar modulations. A somewhat similar cry would 
appear to be common to most of the gibbons, and 
several of the species, the present one amongst others, 
receive the name of Wou-wou from the Malays. 

One of these is the CINEREOUS GIBBON (H.Leuciscus), 
a native of Java and the Molucca Islands, specimens of 
which are occasionally brought to Europe. Of the 
habits of this and the other species in a state of nature, 
scarcely anything is known ; but we may presume that 
they are very similar to those which we have been 

The second group of the Siuiiadse, that of the true 
Monkeys, differs from the apes just described by the 
constant presence of callosities upon the buttocks, and 
by the almost constant presence of cheek-pouches and 
a long tail. The arms are never so disproportionate in 
length as those of the apes ; and yet the general struc- 
ture of the body is much further removed from that of 
man. In their character, also, the monkeys generally 
exhibit a great difference from the apes they are 
vivacious and petulant in their deportment, and usually 
very capricious in their temper; presenting in these 
respects a marked contrast to the grave and somewhat 
melancholy nature of the species previously described. 
It is in the East Indies, in the same region inhabited 
by the orangs and the gibbons, that we find those 
monkeys which are most distinguished from the rest 
of their tribe by ape-like characters ; though even here 
we meet with species of a more animal type, and 
resembling their African brethren; whilst the great 
majority of the latter present a wider divergence from 
the apes, and gradually approach the baboons. 

THE HOONTJMAN (Semnopitheciu Entellus).~Tbe 
Indian monkeys above alluded to form the genus Sem- 
nopithecus of F. Cuvier, which is characterized by the 
slender form and long limbs and tail of the species, by 
the want of cheek-pouches, and by the presence of 
thumbs on the fore-hands. The canines of these mon- 
keys are but slightly developed, and the molars have 
their tubercles so arranged as to form transverse ridges 
a structure which indicates that the animals rather 
feed upon the leaves and tender shoots of plants than 
upon fruits; and this is also shown by the structure 
of the stomach, which is very long and much dilated 
in parts, especially at the anterior end into which the 
oesophagus or gullet opens. These dilated portions 
being separated by constrictions, the stomach acquires 
a complicated appearance, somewhat resembling that 
of the ruminant quadrupeds. It is a remarkable fact 
in connection with this peculiarity of structure, that 
the stomachs of these monkeys often contain bezoars, 
or concretions of a similar nature to those found in 
many Ruminants, and which are so highly prized by 
eastern nations. The monkey bezoars are said to be 
of more value than those obtained from the Ruminants. 

The hoonuman, which is for many reasons one of 
the most interesting species of this group, is a large 




monkey the old males measuring nearly five feet in 
height of a yellowish or greyish-white colour, darker 
on the back, limbs, and tail, and with the face and 
hands black. The hair above the eyebrows forms a 
sort of projecting fillet across the front of the head ; 
the face is bordered on each side with light whiskers, 
and the chin is furnished with a beard, which is peaked 
and directed forwards. As the animals increase in 
age the fur becomes darker, until it is of a nearly uni- 
form rusty brown colour. 

The hoonuman is an exceedingly abundant monkey 
in India, especially in Bengal. During the summer it 
migrates northwards into the hills, travelling as far as 
Nepaul, and even to the elevated plain of Boutan. It 
is regarded with great veneration by the Hindoos, who 
have even deified it, and assigned it a high place in 
their almost innumerable multitude of gods. They 
look upon the destruction of a hoonuman with the 
greatest horror, and believe that the perpetrator of 
such a crime will certainly die within a year after its 
commission. M. Duvaucel, from whom we have already 
quoted, gives an amusing account of the difficulty which 
he experienced in obtaining specimens, in consequence 
of this superstitious feeling. As soon as he was seen 
abroad with his gun, he was surrounded by crowds of 
natives, who employed themselves assiduously in chas- 
ing the monkeys out of gunshot ; and during a whole 
month that a small family of hoonumans remained at 
Chandernagore, where he was residing, his house was 
constantly surrounded by Brahmins, who tormented 
him by incessantly beating tomtoms and drums to scare 
the four-handed divinities from so dangerous a neigh- 
bourhood. On entering the holy city of Goalpara, he 
saw the trees everywhere covered with these long-tailed 
deities, which immediately fled with loud cries, whilst 
a dozen Hindoos surrounded the traveller and endea- 
voured to impress upon him the danger he would incur 
by molesting or injuring animals which were nothing 
less than metamorphosed princes and heroes. Passing 
on, however, he says he met a princess so seductive 
that he could not resist the temptation of cultivating a 
nearer acquaintance with her. He levelled his gun and 
fired ; but then, to quote his own words, he " became 
witness of a scene which was truly touching and 
pathetic. The poor animal, which had a young one 
on her back, had been hit near the heart ; feeling her- 
self mortally wounded, she collected ah 1 her remaining 
force for the effort, seized her young one, and was just 
able to throw it up into the branches of a neighbouring 
tree, before she fell and expired at his feet. An inci- 
dent so touching," adds M. Duvaucel, " made a greater 
impression on me than all the discourses of the Brah- 
mins ; and the pleasure of obtaining a specimen of so 
beautiful an animal, was, for once, incapable of con- 
tending against the regret which I felt for having killed 
a creature which appeared to be bound to life only by 
the most estimable and praiseworthy feelings." 

As might be anticipated, these monkeys, being pro- 
tected from all injury by the superstitions of the 
inhabitants, abound to such an extent, and feel so little 
fear of man, that they become a positive nuisance to 
those whose minds are not so constituted as to enable 
them to regard the hoonuman in the light of a divinity. 

They take up their abode in the topes or groves of trees 
which the Hindoos plant around their villages, and are 
often so numerous in the towns that Sir James Forbes 
considered that in Dhuboy there were more monkeys 
than human inhabitants. They visit the houses of 
the natives, who willingly provide them with food; 
and in the villages they often plunder the peasants, 
who, however, regard their visits as a high honour. 
At Dhuboy, according to Forbes, the roofs of the houses 
seemed to be entirely appropriated to the accommoda- 
tion of the monkeys, and the same writer gives a ludi- 
crous account of his having been compelled to remove 
from a shady verandah, in consequence of the pertina- 
cious pelting administered to him with fragments of 
tiles and mortar from the roof of an opposite house by 
these animals. He also describes a curious mode of 
revenge sometimes adopted by the Hindoos of that 
town, in which the hoonumans are the principal agents. 
It appears that before the commencement of the rains, 
about the middle of June, it is usual to turn all the 
tiles on the roofs of the houses. The tiles are not 
fixed with mortar, but accurately adjusted one over 
the other, so that, if this operation is performed just 
before the setting in of the rains, the roof will be water- 
tight during the wet season, and afterwards a few gaps 
are of little consequence. It is at this period, when 
the tiles have been turned and the first rains are hourly 
expected, that the Hindoo who has a grudge to gratify 
repairs at night to the house of his adversary, and 
strews a quantity of grain over the roof. This is soon 
discovered by the monkeys, who assemble in great 
numbers to pick up their favourite food ; and, as much 
of the grain naturally falls between the tiles, they soon 
nearly unroof the house in their efforts to get at it. 

In other respects they appear to be exceedingly 
mischievous and destructive. They often descend in 
troops upon the cultivated fields ; and it is said that 
when the troop is pretty numerous, they will strip a 
maize field of moderate size in a few hours. The dis- 
position of the males, also, is described as so libidinous, 
that it is not safe for a woman to pass their haunts. 
The only return they make for ah 1 the damage they do, 
and all the kindness shown them by the natives, is 
that, according to Forbes, they frequently destroy 
poisonous snakes. They seize them by the neck when 
asleep, and then, "running to the nearest flat stone, 
grind down the head by a strong friction on the sur- 
face, frequently looking at it, and grinning at their 
progress. When convinced that the venomous fangs 
are destroyed, they toss the reptile to their young ones 
to play with, and seem to rejoice in the destruction of 
the common enemy." The tigers and other carnivor- 
ous quadrupeds of India, having no such scruples as 
those of the human inhabitants of the country, are said 
to wage a constant war with the hoonumans. The 
tiger is described as taking up a position at the foot of 
the tree in which the monkeys have taken refuge, when 
his roaring so frightens them that they tumble down 
and he devours them at his leisure. 

The cause of the veneration in which the hoonuman 
is held by the Hindoos, which, indeed, is also extended, 
although in a less degree, to other monkeys, is doubt- 
less partly to be ascribed to the Brahminical doctrine 



of metempsychosis, but probably still more to its sup- 
posed derivation from one of the personages of their 
mythical history. In the great epic poem of the 
" Ramayan," which is devoted to the exploits of Rama, 
an incarnation of Vishuu, that hero contracts an 
Alliance with Hoonuman, king of the monkeys, in his 
war with the Rackshasas of Ceylon. Throughout the 
war Hoonuman plays the principal part, next to Rama 
himself; but having stolen a mango-tree from a garden 
in Ceylon for the purpose of giving it to the Hindoos, 
he was condemned to have his face and hands black- 
ened, a mark of disgrace which his descendants continue 
to bear to the present day. According to another 
account, Hoonuman was condemned to be burned by 
the giant from whom he stole the mango, but escaped 
with no greater injury than the singeing of his face and 
hands. We learn also that Hoonuman endeavoured 
to set Ceylon on fire, by means of a lighted tar-barrel 
tied to his tail; but, finding unexpectedly that this 
appendage was not fire-proof, he hastened to the Him- 
alayas and dipped it into a lake at the source of the 
Ganges, which bears the name of Bhunderpouch or 
" Monkey's tail " to this day. The Hindoos believe 
that every year a single monkey is sent by his fellows 
to take his station on the snowy peak of a mountain 
which rises from the sacred lake, and there keeps watch 
until he is relieved from his severe duty in the following 

THE DOTJC (Semnopithecus Nemceus). The douc or 
Cochin China monkey is remarkable in this family for 
its vivid and varied colours. It has the face naked 
and yellowish ; the top of the head, and the whole of 
the back and sides, grey ; the shoulders and thighs, as 
well as the hands and feet, black ; the arms white ; and 
the legs deep chestnut. The face is surrounded by 
white whiskers, and the tail and a patch on the rump 
are also white, contrasting curiously with the darker 
fur in the vicinity. 

This beautiful monkey, which attains a height of 
upwards of four feet, is a native of Cochin China, where 
it occurs in great abundance in the forests ; but from 
the little commerce carried on with that country, 
scarcely anything is known of its habits, and specimens 
are even rare in our museums. It was long regarded 
as the type of a distinct genus, characterized by the 
absence of callosities, which, however, it is now found 
to possess. The error arose from the circumstance 
that Buffon, who first described the species, had only a 
badly-stuffed specimen, in which the skin had been 
allowed to shrink, so as to conceal the callosities. 

THE BTJDENG (Semnopithecus Maurus} an in- 
habitant of Java and Sumatra, presents a remarkable 
contrast to the preceding species in the uniform black 
colour of its long silky hair. The young animals are 
reddish-brown. A frill of upright hair runs across the 
forehead, and the cheeks are adorned with a pair of 
large pointed whiskers, directed backwards. This 
species is said by Dr. Horsfield to be exceedingly 
abundant in the forests of Java, where it lives in the 
trees, in troops of fifty or more. It would appear, 
from the statements of the same author, that it is 
hardly safe to approach them in the forests, not from 
any danger of an attack, but because the commotion 

produced in the troop by the sight of a man often 
causes them to break off the dead branches of the trees, 
which are then precipitated on the spectator. The 
natives often hunt them for the sake of their fur, when 
they kill them with sticks and stones. This species is 
also called Lutung or Lotoiig, especially in Sumatra ; 
according to Dr. Horsfield its name in Java is Budeng, 
and another monkey is known as the Lutung, although 
the budeng is also sometimes called Lutung Itam, 01 
Black Lutung, the second species being denominated 
Lutung Mera, or Red Lutung. The latter (S. Pyrrhus) 
is comparatively rare, and is a great favourite with the 
natives, who keep it as a pet about their houses. Of 
the other species of Semuopithecus very little is known ; 
they are rather numerous, and inhabit the same coun- 
tries as the preceding. 

Larvatus), Plate 1, fig. 3. This curious monkey 
agrees very closely with the Semnopitheci in its 
general characters, but differs from them in the sin- 
gular form of the nose, which, in the male especially, 
looks like an absurd caricature of that prominent and 
important member in the human countenance. It is 
principally from this circumstance that the kahau has 
been regarded as constituting a distinct genus. 

The nose in the male forms a curved fleshy pro- 
boscis ; in the female it is much smaller, and terminates 
in a sharp point, from which it slopes directly to the 
upper lip. The nostrils in both sexes are placed on 
the inferior surface. The tail, as in the preceding 
monkeys, is very long ; the hair is of a reddish tawny 
or chestnut colour all over the body, paler in front ; and 
the loins in the male are marked with pale spots. The 
face, which is naked, is described by some authors as 
of a bluish colour ; but Mr. A. Adams states, that in a 
live female examined by him it was of a bright brick- 
dust red. The hair of the chin, neck, and shoulders is 
longer than that on the other parts of the body, pro- 
ducing somewhat the appearance of a mane. 

The kahau is a large monkey, the adult males often 
measuring four feet and a half in height when in an 
erect posture. It is a native of Borneo, where it lives 
in numerous troops upon the trees in the neighbourhood 
of rivers, and is said to move amongst the branches in 
a more deliberate fashion than most other monkeys. 
According to the old Dutch naturalist, Wurmb, how- 
ever, the kahau would appear to exhibit more activity 
in the morning and evening at least, when, he says, 
they may be seen " leaping with astonishing force and 
rapidity from one tree or branch to another, at the dis- 
tance of fifteen or twenty feet." He adds that the 
natives will have it, that, when thus occupied, the 
monkeys hold their noses in their hands, doubtless 
from a fear lest so ornamental an appendage should 
meet with some injury ; but this, he says, he has never 
seen. When disturbed, it emits a short, impatient 
cry, described by Mr. Adams as something " between 
a sneeze and a scream, like that of a spoilt and pas- 
sionate child ;" other accounts compare this cry to the 
word kahau, whence is derived the name usually applied 
to the animal. It would appear, however, that its true 
native name is Banta-jan. It is described as a fierce 
and violent animal. 



The kahau is only known to inhabit the great island 
of Borneo, where the Dyaks assert that these monkeys 
are men who have retired into the woods to escape 
taxation. How they subsequently became ornamented 
with tails does not appear. The species is also said to 
occur in Sumatra, the peninsula of Malacca, and Cochin 
China. From the statement of M. Geoffroy St. Hilaire, 
that the ambassadors sent by Tippoo Sahib to Paris, 
just before the French revolution of 1789, recognized 
the stuffed specimen in the museum there as an animal 
of their country to which they ascribed a high, moral, 
and intellectual character it would appear, also, that 
this, or a similar species, should occur in Hindostan 
proper. None of these localities, however, rest upon 
any sufficient testimony ; and in the case of Tippoo's 
ambassadors, it seems probable that they may either 
have seen specimens brought as captives from the far 
east, or that they may have confounded this monkey 
with the hoonuman. 

THE GTJEREZA (Cololus Guereza}. Although the 
majority of the African monkeys belong to a group 
presenting well-marked differences from the Indian 
species above described, there are, nevertheless, some 
of them which exhibit a close resemblance to the 
Semnopitheci, both in structure, character, and mode 
of life, and may be regarded as the African representa- 
tives of the Asiatic group which has hitherto occupied 
our attention. The stomach has the same sacculated 
structure ; the dentition is identical, and the molar teeth 
are found to be worn down by use, indicating that the 
creatures live upon the leaves and buds of trees, rather 
than upon fruits ; the cheek-pouches are wanting, 
the body and limbs are slender, and the tail long. 
The Colobi are, however, distinguished from their 
Indian relatives, and, indeed, from all other monkeys 
of the Old World, by a most important character, 
namely, the total absence or rudimentary condition of 
the thumbs on the anterior members; in most cases 
the metacarpal bone of the thumb is alone present, and 
in those species in which this is followed by a single 
small joint, the only external indication of a thumb is a 
mere tubercle, of not the least service in prehension. 

The guereza is the only species of this group upon 
whose habits we have any information. It is about 
the size of a cat, and of a deep black colour, with the 
cheeks, throat, and sides of the neck white, and with a 
large quantity of long white hairs, growing from the 
shoulders, sides, and rump, and hanging down in such 
a manner as to conceal the whole lower part of the 
body. The extremity of the tail is, in like manner, 
concealed by long white hairs. 

This beautiful monkey, which is a native of Abys- 
sinia, was mentioned by the old traveller Ludolf, who 
supposes it to have been the Callithrix of the ancients, 
a conjecture which seems very probable from the 
description of that animal given by Pliny. Ludolf 
says that it is called Foukes in Ethiopic, and Guereza 
in the Amharic dialect, and these two names are given 
with some variation by later travellers. 

Dr. Rlippell, wrio first accurately described the 
guereza, informs us that it resides in small families in 
the loftiest trees, and usually in the neighbourhood of 
Borne stream. It is restless and lively in its habits, 

but not noisy; its food consists of wild fruits, seeds, 
and insects; and, unlike the ordinary monkeys, it never 
commits any depredations upon the cultivated grounds. 
In allusion to its harmless nature, and to the constant 
persecution to which it is subject, for a reason which 
will be hereafter mentioned, Ludolf says that a curious 
rhyme is current in some parts of Abyssinia, which 
may be translated as follows : 

" I give no man pain 
I eat no man's grain 
They hate me in vain I * 

The same traveller notices the tenderness of constitu- 
tion of this monkey, which is confirmed by other 
observers, from whose narratives it would appear that 
the guereza will not endure confinement, but pines to 
death in captivity in the course of a few days. 

The fur of this animal is much prized in Abyssinia 
on account of its beauty ; and in the provinces ot 
Damot and Gojam, where the guerezas abound, they 
are destroyed in great numbers for the sake of their 
skins, which, according to Dr. Riippell, fetch as much 
as five shillings each in the market of Gondar. Mr. 
Salt places the value rather lower, saying that they 
seh 1 for about half a dollar. They are chiefly employed 
in ornamenting the shields of the native soldiers ; and 
the distinguished traveller last quoted, states that every 
man in Tigre wears a piece of this skin as an ornament 
on his shield. The skins are also sometimes sewn 
together, when they form a beautiful covering for a 
couch, but their cost prevents their being put to this 
use by any but the chiefs. 

Several other monkeys of this genus are found in the 
tropical regions of Africa, especially on the western 
coast, whence the skins of some long-haired black 
species are imported into Europe, and used in the 
manufacture of muffs. There is much uncertainty as 
to the number of species, about half a dozen having 
been described, which are considered by some authors 
as simple varieties of one or two. This is owing in a 
great measure to the imperfect condition of the skins 
which reach this country. They are highly prized by 
the Negroes, who make caps of them, and will pay from 
twenty to thirty shillings apiece for them ; and as it is 
only the skin of the body that is valuable as a fur, the 
hunters never take the trouble of skinning the head and 

The great majority of the African monkeys belong 
to the group called Guenons by French authors, forming 
the genus CERCOPITHECUS of zoologists. These mon- 
keys have the face somewhat produced into a muzzle, 
but rounded at the extremity; cheek-pouches are 
always present; the eyes are prominent, not shaded 
by projecting eyebrows ; and the tail is long, usually 
longer than the body. They are distinguished from a 
nearly-allied group that of the Macaques, ah 1 the 
species of which are inhabitants of tropical Asia by 
the last molar in the lower jaw having only four 
tubercles on its surface ; whilst in all the remaining 
monkeys and in the baboons, this molar exhibits one 
or two additional small tubercles at its posterior por- 
tion. In all these moukeys the canines of the upper 
jaw are greatly developed, especially in the males, in 



which they acquire a formidable length as compared 
with the size of the animal ; and from their being acute 
at the point, and very sharp along the hinder edge, 
they constitute most dangerous weapons, which the old 
males of most species know well how to use. 

Besides the presence of cheek-pouches, the Cerco- 
pitheci present another character of distinction from 
the Indian Semnopitheci and the African Colobi, 
which, although of secondary importance, and common 
to them and many of the macaques and baboons, it is 
still necessary to mention. This is the annulated 
nature of the fur, arising from the individual hairs not 
being of the same colour from the root to the tip, but 
marked with rings of different colours, by which means 
the fur acquires a minutely speckled appearance ; and 
the general tint of the animal is usually quite different 
from any of the distinct colours which are to be found 
in its fur. 

In their structure and form, as in their character, 
these animals may be regarded as the types of our 
notion of a monkey ; they are nearly equally removed 
from the apes on the one hand, and from the baboons 
on the other. Unlike the mild and gentle Semnopi- 
theci and Colobi, they are petulant, capricious, and 
often spiteful, especially when old ; whilst on the other 
hand they are, for the most part, free from the sullen- 
ness and moroseness which are usually characteristic 
of the baboons. They live in the forests, each species 
usually confining itself to some particular district, 
where the animals live in large troops, under the 
chieftainship of the old males ; and the inroads of one 
species or tribe upon the region over which another 
has arrogated the dominion to itself, are highly resented 
by the latter, of which the whole community imme- 
diately unites to repel the aggression. Even in confine- 
ment this party feeling is maintained; and it is not 
uncommon in large menageries, where numerous 
monkeys of different kinds are kept in the same cage, 
to see those of one species combine their powers to 
defend one of their brethren against the bullying of 
some larger occupant of their common prison. In their 
native forests, these monkeys keep at a distance from 
human habitations, and usually frequent the banks of 
streams. They feed principally upon fruits and seeds, 
but also eat the buds and young shoots of trees, and 
occasionally diversify this vegetable diet with a repast 
of birds' eggs or insects, although they appear to be less 
addicted to animal food than the baboons. 

The genus Cercopithecus includes those monkeys of 
the Old World which are most commonly brought to 
Europe, and also those which have most frequently 
produced young ones in our menageries. The female, 
under these circumstances, carries the young one in 
her arms until it has acquired strength enough to cling 
firmly to her hair, when, having all her hands at 
liberty, she is able to spring and climb about with as 
much activity as if she had no burden. The male is 
sometimes, if not always, an exceedingly bad father, 
quarrelling with the female, and ill-treating the young 
one. M. Is. Geoffrey St. Hilaire, mentions, that in 
1837, when a female of the Grivet (C. Griseus] had 
a young one in the Jardin des Plantes at Paris, the 
male was obliged to be removed, in consequence of his 

unnatural behaviour to his infant offspring; while, in 
the very next cage, several male baboons were to be 
seen surrounding two females with their young ones, 
caressing the two mothers with the most lively demon- 
strations of tenderness, pressing them in their arms, 
embracing them almost like human beings, and quar- 
relling amongst themselves for the pleasure of nursing 
the little ones, which, after passing from arm to arm, 
were faithfully returned, each to its own mother." 

Of the numerous species of this genus known to 
naturalists, we can only mention a few. Amongst 

THE TALAPOIN (Cercopithecus Talapoin) is the 
one which, in the gentleness of its disposition and the 
slenderness of its form, would appear to approach most 
closely to the preceding monkeys ; it has been separ- 
ated by Geoffroy as a distinct genus, on account of the 
large development of its brain, the shortness of its 
muzzle, and especially the small size of its hinder 
molars, of which those of the lower jaw have only 
three tubercles. 

The talapoin is the smallest of the monkeys of the 
Old World. Its fur is of a greenish tint, with the 
lower surface of the bod}' and the inside of the 
limbs greyish-white ; the hairs of the forehead are 
raised, so as to form a sort of tuft ; the whiskers are 
yellowish, and the face flesh-coloured, with the nose 
and ears dark-brown or black. It is a native of 
Western Africa, but is less commonly brought into 
Europe than many other species inhabiting the same 
locality, although its gentleness and intelligence ren- 
der it one of the most interesting of the Old World 
monkeys. In captivity it is very lively and amusing. 

THE MONE ( Cercopithecus Mono) is a species nearly 
related to the talapoin, which it resembles in the ele- 
gance of its form, and in its intelligence. It is a little 
larger than the talapoin, but is still one of the smallest 
of the Simiadse, and its colours are very beautiful. 
The head is of an olive-green colour, mixed with 
golden-yellow; the forehead is covered with whitish 
hairs, and on each side of the face is a large bushy 
whisker of a straw colour; the back and sides are 
brilliant chestnut, mottled with black ; the legs and 
tail are black, speckled with grey, and on each hip, 
immediately in front of the root of the tail, is an oval 
spot of the purest white a character which is peculiar 
to this species ; the throat, the lower part of the body, 
and the inner surface of the limbs, are also pure 

The mone inhabits the western coast of Africa, and 
is usually brought to Europe from Senegal. Its name 
of Mona is a sort of generic name for monkey in some 
parts of the south of Europe, and was applied to this 
species by Buffon, who also identified it with the Cebus 
of the ancients, although without sufficient reason. 
In confinement it exhibits a remarkable amount of 
amiability, being more docile and less petulant and 
capricious than most other monkeys, so that it may be 
allowed far more liberty, although the males not unfre- 
quently change their character for the worse as they 
increase in age. M. F. Cuvier has published an inter- 
esting account of an individual of this species, which 
lived from its youth upwards in the menagerie at Paris, 



and preserved its gentleness even after it had arrived 
at maturity. This specimen exhibited wonderful ad- 
dress in getting at any object that pleased him ; he 
would open cupboards by turning their keys, or undo 
knots, and had acquired an adroitness in pocket-picking 
that would have done credit to a pupil of Mr. Fagin, 
performing this operation with so much delicacy that 
his hand could not be felt, although the person whose 
pockets were under examination might be perfectly 
aware of what was going on. 

THE DIANA MONKEY ( Cercopithecus Diana) which 
is said to be called the Roloway on the Gold Coast, and 
Exquima in Congo, is a larger and stouter species 
than either of the preceding, but is still distinguished 
amongst the monkeys of this genus by the elegance of 
its form, and the gentleness and playfulness of its char- 
acter. Its general colour is a mixture of black and 
grey, with the face, the hands, and the extremity of 
the tail deep black ; down the back runs a broad band 
of a deep chestnut- red colour; on the forehead there is a 
white band, curved so as to form a very open crescent 
a character which induced Linnaeus to give the species 
the name of the goddess of the chase ; and the whiskers 
and beard are also pure white. The latter appendage 
forms one of the most curious characters of this mon- 
key ; it is very long and pointed, resembling, as Mr. 
Ogilby says, " the formal cut of the peaked beard which 
we see in some old paintings about the time of Henry 
VIII.;" and the monkey appears to regard it as highly 
ornamental, taking great care to keep it trimmed and 
neat, and holding it in his hand when he is about to 
drink, to prevent it from coming in contact with the 
water. Mr. Ogilby says that the first time he observed 
this strange action, the ludicrous effect of the creature's 
solicitude about his beard made him laugh outright ; 
the monkey, after looking up for a moment as if in 
astonishment at this sudden explosion, appeared all at 
once to discover its cause, and no doubt regarding it as 
a personal insult, flew at the offender most viciously, 
and was only prevented by the shortness of his chain 
from inflicting a severe and summary punishment upon 

As a general rule, however, the diana monkey is 
exceedingly good-tempered, and very lively and play- 
ful. A most interesting account of a specimen of 
this species was communicated by Mrs. Bowdich to 
London's Magazine of Natural History, vol. ii. This 
monkey, which had received the name of Jack, 
belonged to the cook of the ship in which Mrs. Bow- 
dich returned from Africa. Teasing was one of his 
principal accomplishments, and he seems to have 
brought the art to a great state of periection. He 
would pull off the men's caps and throw them into 
the sea, a habit which is said to be common in 
nautical monkeys; he would knock over the parrot's 
cage for the pleasure of drinking the water as it 
trickled along the deck, steal the tea out of the sailors' 
mugs, or abstract the pieces of biscuit which the men 
had put between the bars of the grate to toast, and carry 
off the carpenter's tools. But his favourite amusement 
consisted in riding the pigs, in which he was a great 
adept. " Whenever the pigs were let out to take a 
run on deck," says Mrs. Bowdich, " he took his station 

behind a cask, whence he leaped on the back of one of 
his steeds as it passed. Of course the speed was 
increased, and the nails he stuck in to keep himself on 
produced a squeaking; but Jack was never thrown, 
and became so fond of the exercise that he was obliged 
to be shut up whenever the pigs were at liberty." 
Several smaller monkeys were on board the ship, and 
of these he was very jealous, going so far as actually 
to throw two of them into the sea. On a third he 
exercised his spite in a most ludicrous fashion. The 
sailors had been painting the ship's side with a streak 
of white, and on going down to dinner left their paint 
and brushes on deck. This excellent opportunity was 
not lost upon Jack ; he called a little black monkey to 
him, and when the poor little beast came and crouched 
at the feet of his superior, the latter seized him by the 
nape of the neck, dipped the brush into the paint, and 
immediately covered his victim with white from head 
to foot. This absurd spectacle caused Mrs. Bowdich 
and the steersman, who h^l both been watching his 
proceedings, to burst into a laugh, upon which Jack 
dropped the whitened monkey and scampered up into 
the rigging, whilst the unhappy little subject of this 
practical joke began licking himself, and was only pre- 
served from being poisoned by a thorough washing 
with turpentine. During this operation, the author of 
the mischief was peeping down through the bars of the 
maintop, with evident enjoyment of the commotion 
that he had occasioned. Fear of punishment, however, 
kept him aloft for three days, until hunger compelled 
him to come down, when he dropped suddenly into 
Mrs. Bowdich's lap, as if to seek for protection. The 
skin of the diana monkey forms a beautiful fur, and is 
frequently used for that purpose. 

THE WHITE-NOSED MONKEYS (Cercopithecus Nic- 
titans and Petaurista), which are also nearly related to 
the mone, and inhabit the same countries, are distin- 
guished by having a large white spot upon the nose. 
The best known of these is the Lesser White-nosed 
monkey (C. Petaurista), which is one of the quietest 
and most playful species of the group ; and from its 
familiarity and amusing habits is always a great 
favourite with the visitors to our menageries. 

THE CALLITHEIX (Cercopithecus Sabceus), so called 
because Buffon supposed it to be identical with the 
Callithrix of the ancients, belongs to a section of the 
genus in which the form is more robust, and the cha- 
racter generally far less amiable, than in the preceding 
species. It is also called the Green monkey, and the 
Cape de Verd monkey, the latter name indicating one 
of its dwelling-places ; it also occurs in Senegal. It is 
a handsome species, about the size of a large cat ; the 
fur of the back and sides is of an olive-green colour, 
mixed with brown, that of the belly is yellow, and the 
whiskers are yellowish. It is very hardy, and is con- 
sequently common in menageries, where its restless 
playfulness renders it attractive ; but its temper becomes 
uncertain as it grows older, and the adult males are 
often very spiteful. 

THE GEIVET (Cercopithecus Griseus) is a nearly- 
allied, but smaller species, which is also frequently 
imported into Europe. It is a native of Nubia and of 
several provinces of Abyssinia, where it is a favourite 



with the inhabitants, who often keep specimens in their 
houses. The grivet was also well known to the ancient 
Egyptians, and is often represented on their monuments. 

THE PATAS (Cercopithecus Ruber), an inhabitant of 
Senegal on the west coast of Africa, is one of the 
monkeys most commonly imported into Europe. It is 
about the size of the callithrix, and of a general reddish 
fawn colour, with the lower part of the body and the 
inner surface of the limbs pale grey. Across the fore- 
head there is a blackish band, and the extremity of the 
nose is covered with very short black hairs. In con- 
finement the patas resembles the two preceding species 
in its character, being very lively and playful, but at 
the same time so capricious ia its temper that any 
approach to familiarity with it is attended with danger. 
In a state of nature, according to the old French 
traveller Brae, the patas possesses a great share of 
curiosity, coming down from the tops of the trees to 
the lower branches to examine the boats passing 
beneath them ; but when tly first novelty wore off, the 
monkeys, says he, " became more confident, and began 
to pelt us with rotten branches and other missiles, not 
always of the most delicate description." This compli- 
ment being returned by the sailors with their guns, by 
which some of the monkeys were killed and others 
wounded, they did not allow themselves at first to be 
intimidated, but renewed the assault with great deter- 
mination, until finally perceiving that the odds were 
jigainst them, they scampered nimbly out of range of 
the guns, and afterwards contemplated the boats from 
a safer distance. 

THE NISNAS (C. PyrrJwnotus}, is a species very 
nearly allied to the patas, with which it was formerly 
confounded. It is, however, a stouter animal, and 
presents several distinctive characters, especially the 
whiteness of a portion of the nose. The nisnas is a 
native of Abyssinia and Nubia; it was well known to 
the ancient Egyptians, and is often represented in their 
sculptures. It is also supposed to be the cebus of the 
Greek writers on natural history. 

The group of the Macaques, already referred to as 
distinguished from the Cercopitheci by the presence of 
an additional (fifth) tubercle on the hindmost molar 
teeth in the lower jaw, nevertheless presents a close 
resemblance to the preceding group in its general 
characters. In fact, the characters of the species of 
these groups shade so gradually into each other the 
Cercopitheci becoming insensibly macaque-like, and the 
macaques baboon-like in their general structure that 
some writers have proposed the abolition of the group of 
the macaques altogether, by uniting the more monkey- 
like macaques with the Cercopitheci, and the more 
baboon-like species with the baboons. At the same 
time, as the macaques, with but two or three excep- 
tions, are all inhabitants of Asia, where they well 
represent both the Cercopitheci and baboons of Africa, 
it seems desirable to retain the group on account of its 
convenience in regard to zoological geography. 

The macaques are, in general, of a more robust form 
than the other monkeys ; the muzzle is prominent, but 
rounded off at the extremity, and the tail is very 
variable in length, being sometimes as long as in many 

Cercopitheci, sometimes reduced to a mere tubercle, 
and in two species altogether wanting. In their general 
habits they resemble the Cercopitheci, but their evil 
passions acquire a strength proportioned to their usually 
larger size and greater physical power ; and although 
they are less disgusting and ferocious than the baboons, 
they are far more so than the other monkeys. 

KEY ( CercocebusFuli/jiaosus). We have already stated, 
that although the macaques are strictly speaking an 
Asiatic group, they have a few representatives else- 
where. Amongst these are the mangabeys or white- 
eyelid monkeys which inhabit Africa, and most closely 
resemble the common monkeys of that continent in 
their general form, in the length of the tail, and in 
their habits. The mangabeys are, however, distin- 
guished from the ordinary monkeys and from the other 
macaques, by a peculiarity in the structure of the 
hands all the fingers both of the fore and hind hands 
being united by webs which extend at least as far as 
the first joint, whilst between the first and second fin- 
gers of the hinder hands, the web reaches nearly to the 
tip. They are also characterized by the dead white 
colour of the upper eyelids, which gives them a singular 
aspect when brought into view by those perpetual 
bliukings in which all monkeys are fond of indulging. 

The sooty mangabey, which is the commonest spe- 
cies, is of a sooty grey colour on all the upper parts of 
the body, the tail and the outer surface of the limbs ; 
the chin and throat, and the lower parts of the body 
are brownish ash colour. This monkey is a native 
of the west coast of Africa, but nothing is known of its 
habits in a state of nature. In captivity it is familiar 
and gentle, exceedingly active and full of grimace, 
throwing itself into such ludicrous attitudes that, as 
M. F. Cuvier observes, " it might be supposed to be 
provided with a greater number of joints than other 
monkeys," or tumbling and dancing in an absurd fashion 
to attract the attention of the visitors, from whom it 
hopes to obtain a reward for its agility. Mr. Ogilby 
mentions that a " specimen in the menagerie of the 
Zoological Society was very fond of being caressed, and 
would examine the hands of his friends with the great- 
est gentleness and gravity, trying to pick out the little 
hairs, and ah 1 the while expressing his satisfaction by 
smacking his lips, and uttering a low suppressed grunt." 
This habit appears to be a favourite one with the spe- 
cies, as many specimens exhibit it. 

Two other species of these monkeys are known the 
COLLARED MAXGABEY (Cercocebus Collaris), and the 
are both said to inhabit the west coast of Africa. 

THE BONNET MONKEY {Macacos Siniciis), the 
Toque of some authors, was called the Bonnet Chinois 
by Buffon, from an erroneous notion that it was a native 
of China; it is now known to come from the Malabar and 
Coromandel coasts, and probably inhabits the whole 
southern extremity of the peninsula of Hindostan. It 
also lives in a wild state in the Mauritius, but has been 
introduced into that island since its occupation by 

The bonnet monkey is a species frequently brought 
to Europe for exhibition ; it is about the size of a large 



cat, of a greenish-dun colour on the upper parts and 
greyish below, and has a long tail. The whole of the 
face is naked, wrinkled, and of a dingy flesh colour ; but 
the most striking character of the species is to be found 
in the arrangement of the hair of the crown, which is 
long and dark-coloured, and instead of standing erect, 
spreads in all directions like rays proceeding from a 
common centre, lying upon the surface of the head in 
the same way as the hair of a scalp wig. It is from 
this character that the animal has received the name of 
the bonnet monkey. A somewhat similar disposition 
of the hair occurs in a nearly allied species, the Crowned 
MonJcey (Macacus Pileatus), but this is of a reddish- 
brown colour, and the hair of the head is nearly erect. 
In its native country the bonnet monkey meets with an 
amount of veneration almost equal to that shown in 
Bengal to the hoonuman (see p. 27) ; although very 
destructive in the gardens and fields, it is forbidden to 
kill them, and the natives assemble round any person 
guilty of this offence, and give him no peace until he 
has paid for a sumptuous funeral for his victim. Such 
at least is the account given by Buchanan of the state 
of matters in Mysore, which, in all probability, relates 
to this monkey ; and that traveller adds, that the pro- 
prietors of gardens used to hire men of a particular 
class, who captured the monkeys and squirrels (which, 
it would appear, are equally sacred) in nets, and then 
conveyed them to some distant village ; but as every- 
body resorted to the same means of getting rid of such 
troublesome neighbours, the gardeners soon found that 
the monkey-catchers were the only people who benefited 
by these proceedings, and accordingly gave them up. 

In confinement, the bonnet monkey is a most amusing 
fellow when young, as all his actions are performed with 
an amount of gravity which is exceedingly ludicrous. 
Of all the species usually kept in our menageries, the 
bonnet monkeys exhibit the most striking external 
marks of mutual affection. When two or three are kept 
together they are constantly to be seen hugging or 
nursing each other, or carefully searching in the fur of 
their companions for the fleas and other vermin which 
doubtless harbour there in sufficient abundance to render 
their destruction a matter of gratification. At all 
events this appears to be the feeling of the monkeys, 
who make it an affair of mutual advantage ; for whilst 
one fellow exhibits the most exemplary patience, lying at 
full length, and submitting to have every part of his fur 
investigated by the sharp nails and sharper eyes of his 
companion the latter rewards himself for his trouble 
by immediately devouring any of his friend's troublesome 
guests that may come under his fingers. Where a 
specimen of this monkey has none of its own species to 
contract an intimacy with, it will content itself with 
some other animal, and a kitten is not unfrequently 
given to it as a companion. Under these circumstances, 
as Mr. Ogilby remarks, "nothing can exceed the 
ridiculous caricature of humanity which it presents 
petting, nursing, and hugging the unfortunate kitten, 
at the imminent risk of choking it, with all the gra- 
vity and fondness" of a child similarly employed. 
When adult, however, the deportment of the bonnet 
monkey becomes entirely changed; instead of the 
playful good temper of the young animals, the old 
VOL. I. 

males exhibit a morose, sullen, and spiteful disposition, 
which renders it dangerous to attempt any familiarities 
with them, and the aspect of the animal changes at the 
same time, and acquires a ferocity which accords but 
too well with his temper. 

THE MACAQUE (Macacus Cynomolgus) is another 
long-tailed species which is also frequently brought to 
Europe. It is a larger and more robust species than 
the bonnet monkey, which it resembles in most of its 
structural characters, and in its disposition. The colour 
of the upper parts of the body and the outer surface of 
the limbs is greenish-brown, the lower surface and the 
inside of the limbs are greyish-white. The tail, when 
not injured, is about as long as the body ; but the 
macaque has a curious habit of gnawing the end of his 
tail, and it is a very common circumstance to see speci- 
mens with this member considerably abbreviated, most 
probably in this way. The hair of the crown of the 
head usually forms a sort of ridge, or crest, running from 
back to front, and appearing as though it had all been 
brushed up towards the middle. A specimen which 
exhibited this peculiarity was described by Buffon under 
the name of the Aigrette. 

The macaque is far more widely distributed than the 
bonnet monkey, being found not only on the continent 
of India, but also on several of the large islands, espe- 
cially Java, Sumatra, Borneo, and Celebes. According 
to Dr. Horsfield, it is the commonest monkey in the 
forests of Java, where it is a great favourite with the 
natives, who constantly domesticate it and keep it in 
their stables, under the impression that its society is ad- 
vantageous to the horses. In the European menageries 
the macaque appears to thrive ; it supports the severity 
of our winters better than most other monkeys, and has 
been several times known to breed in Europe. It is 
remarkable that, under these circumstances the female 
has generally deserted her offspring, although other 
nearly-allied species have not only bred in confinement, 
but have tended their young with the greatest care. 
The habits of this animal in captivity are similar to 
those of the bonnet monkey, but the old males become 
even more ferocious and spiteful. 

THE WANDEROO (Macacus Silenus) is one of those 
species of macaques in which the tail is only about a 
third of the length of the body. It measures from three 
feet to three feet and a half in height, and is of a robust 
form; its hair is- of a black or blackish colour, as is also 
the naked skin of its face and paws, but its head is sur- 
rounded by a long thick mane of greyish hair, resem- 
bling an enormous wig falling down upon the shoulders, 
in the style of that remarkable head-dress which is still 
thought to confer such dignity upon our judges, and per- 
haps justly, for between this ornament and the habitual 
gravity of its countenance, the wanderoo acquires a 
singular air of wisdom and importance, which, in the 
monkey at any rate, is exceedingly ludicrous. Its tail 
is tufted at the extremity. 

The name of Wanderoo, commonly given to this 
monkey, is said to be its ordinary denomination in 
Ceylon, of which island, and the adjacent coasts of 
continental India, it is an inhabitant. It is said, also, 
by some writers, to advance far towards the north at 
certain seasons of the year, and sometimes even to 


ascend the Himalayas nearly to the region of perpetual 
snow. According to Father Vincent Maria, a Carmelite 
monk, this monkey would appear to occupy quite an 
aristocratic position amongst the other quadrumanous 
inhabitants of the Malabar coast. The old missionary 
tells us that "the other monkeys pay such profound 
respect to this species, that they humiliate themselves 
before him, as if capable of appreciating his superiority 
and pre-eminence," and the magnificence of his wig 
seems even to produce an impression on the human 
inhabitants of Malabar, for the worthy father adds, that 
" the princes and great lords hold him in much esti- 
mation, because he is endowed above every other with 
gravity, capacity, and the appearance of wisdom. He 
is easily trained to the performance of a variety of 
ceremonies, grimaces, and affected courtesies, all which 
he accomplishes in so serious a manner, and to such 
perfection, that it is a most wonderful thing to see 
them acted with so much exactness by an irrational 
animal." Mr. Ogilby is probably in the right when he 
attributes the submission of the other monkeys to the 
wanderoo, rather to his physical than to his moral 
superiority, and the behaviour of several specimens 
which have from time to time been exhibited in this 
country has proved that the wanderoo is not superior 
to his congeners in sagacity. Kobert Knox, another 
old traveller, tells us, that in Ceylon this monkey does 
little mischief, but lives in the woods, feeding on the 
leaves and buds of trees. 

THE BBTTH (Macacus Nemestrinus), described by 
Buffon under the name of the Maimon, is of a more 
robust form than the wanderoo, and has the tail much 
shorter, slender, nearly naked, and slightly curled, which 
has given origin to the name of the Pig-tailed Monkey, 
originally applied to this species by Edwards. The 
bruh is of a blackish-brown colour on the back, becom- 
ing lighter beneath and on the limbs ; its face is flesh- 
coloured. It is an inhabitant of Sumatra and Borneo, 
and is described as being more docile and intelligent 
than its nearest allies ; but this amiability of character 
would seem to disappear with age, although even old 
specimens are said to exhibit less ferocity and sul- 
lenness than the other large macaques. According to 
Sir Stamford Raffles, the natives of Sumatra are fond 
of domesticating the bruh, whose docility they turn to 
good account. They train it to climb the cocoa-nut 
trees for the purpose of picking the fruit, and it is said 
to show great discrimination in selecting the ripe nuts, 
of which, moreover, it picks no more than its master 

THE BHTJUDEB (Macaeus Rhesus) is a species very 
nearly related to the brim, with which it was indeed 
confounded by Cuvier. It is, however, furnished with 
a rather longer tail ; and this appendage, instead of 
being slender and naked, is thick and well covered with 
hair ; the upper surface of the body is of a greenish- 
grey colour, the individual hairs being annulated with 
light dun and dark brown ; the lower surface and the 
inside of the limbs are light grey, and the callosities 
are bright red. The skin is remarkably loose and 
flaccid, hanging in folds even in the young animals; 
and this peculiarity, which occurs, although to a some- 
what less extent, also in the bruh, enables these mon- 

keys to be fattened to such a degree as to exhibit an 
enormous corpulence. 

The bhunder is a native of continental India, where 
it occurs abundantly in Bengal, and is also found in 
Assam, Nepal, and Simla. The hoonuman is the only 
other monkey which lives in these provinces, and the 
bhunder appears to share with this sacred species in 
the respect of the natives. Captain Williamson tells 
us that in many places revenues are allotted for feeding 
whole tribes of bhunders under the charge of a fakeer, 
or other mendicant priest, who ekes out the regular 
revenues attached to his office by charitable contribu- 
tions levied upon travellers principally by the mon- 
keys, who show themselves most accomplished beggars. 
They never molest any one, unless some cause of 
offence is given ; but then they bite severely, and a 
trifling circumstance may produce the necessary irrita- 
tion. Mr. Johnson also confirms these statements, and 
mentions that at a place called Bindrabun, " more than 
a hundred gardens are well cultivated with all kinds 
of fruit, solely for the support of these animals, which 
are kept and maintained by religious endowments from 
rich natives." The same writer tells us on good 
authority, " that in the district of Cooch Behar, a very 
large tract of land is actually considered by the inha- 
bitants to belong to a tribe of monkeys which inhabit 
the neighbouring hills, and when the natives cut their 
different kinds of grain, they always leave about a tenth 
part piled in heaps for the monkeys. As soon as their 
portion is marked out, they come down from the hills 
in a large body and carry off all that is allotted for 
them, stowing it under and between the rocks in such 
a manner as to prevent vermin from destroying it. On 
this grain they chiefly live ; and the natives assert that 
if they were not to have their due proportion, in ano- 
ther year they would not allow a single grain to become 
ripe, but would destroy it while green. It does not 
appear whether this singular and primitive payment of 
tithes has been settled by mutual agreement between 
the natives and the monkeys ; but in other places, 
where no such arrangement is described as existing, the 
monkeys come freely in search of their dues into the 
houses, and carry off whatever they prefer with perfect 
impunity. In fact, the destruction of one of these 
animals is looked upon as a heinous crime by the Hin- 
doos ; and the writer last quoted mentions that two 
young officers who had shot at a bhunder, were pelted 
with sticks and other missiles by the fakeers and other 
inhabitants of Bindrabun, where the supposed outrage 
took place, until the elephant on which they rode was 
driven into the river, where both the young men, as 
well as the driver of the elephant, were drowned. 
Nevertheless, the respect thus manifested for the mon- 
keys does not prevent the jugglers who swarm in India 
from teaching these animals numerous tricks ; ant, 
according to Captain Williamson, " it is very diverting 
to see these little mimics counterfeiting the gait and 
motions of various professions, and especially corrobo- 
rating by their actions the deluge of flattery which the 
jugglers pour forth in praise of everything relating to 
the English character. Their antics are so excellently 
just on these occasions, that many human profes- 
sors of the mimic art might, without the smallest 



disparagement, take a lesson from these diminutive 

The bhunder is one of the few species of Sirniadae 
which have produced young in our menageries, and, 
under these circumstances, the female exhibits a won- 
derful degree of affection for her offspring. In a case 
recorded at great length by M. F. Cuvier, the young 
animal continued for the first fortnight of its existence 
firmly clinging to the hair of its mother, with its mouth 
constantly applied to her nipple, only changing its 
position occasionally in order to cross over to the other 
side, but constantly turning its eyes to watch every- 
thing that occurred in its vicinity. At the end of a 
fortnight the little creature detached itself from its 
mother, and then, from the very first, exhibited an 
address and precision in its movements which could 
hardly have been anticipated. Still the mother watched 
it with anxious care, always ready to assist it in any 
difficulty into which it might fall during its gambols, 
and clasping it in her arms whenever she thought it 
was threatened with airy danger. At the end of six 
weeks, however, when the young one was ready for 
more solid nutriment, this otherwise affectionate mother 
displayed a singular amount of selfish greediness, driv- 
ing her offspring away from the front of the cage when- 
ever their food was put in, so that it was only by stealth 
that the poor little beast contrived to secure a share of 
what was going. 

Several other species of macaques inhabit the con- 
tinent of Asia and its islands ; but amongst these we shall 
only mention the URSINE MACAQUE (M. Ursinus), and 
the BED-FACED MACAQUE (M. Speciosus), in which 
the tail is reduced to a mere tubercle, and the BLACK 
MACAQUE (Macacus Niger), in which there is no trace 
of that appendage. The second of these species is 
remarkable as being the only monkey inhabiting Japan ; 
and the third presents some peculiar characters, which 
have caused it to be raised to the rank of a distinct 
genus, under the name of Cynopithecus. 

THE MAGOT (Inuus Sylvanus), or BARBARY APE, 
as it is frequently called, is the last species of the group 
of macaques to which we shall refer ; it is remarkable 
as being the only monkey found in Europe. It differs 
from the rest of the macaques in having the posterior 
tubercle of the hindmost molar in the lower jaw divided 
into three parts by two little furrows, and from nearly 
all of them by the total absence of a tail. 

The magot, when full grown, stands between three 
and four feet in height, and is of a robust form. The 
general colour of its fur is a yellowish olive-green, pale 
or greyish beneath ; the face is of a dingy flesh-colour, 
much wrinkled, and marked with irregular brown spots; 
and the hairs surrounding the face are of a dirty grey. 
It usually goes on all fours, and appears to prefer rocky 
and mountainous districts for its habitation, where this 
quadruped mode of progression is the most practicable 
one. In its character it closely resembles the other 
macaques, being lively, intelligent, and docile when 
young, but becoming morose and intractable with 
increasing years. The vivacity and playfulness of the 
young and half-grown animals, have always rendered 
them great favourites with the itinerant 'showmen of 
Europe, and the magot has been well known in this 

way from time immemorial. He has, however, another 
and still more important claim upon our attention : 
during the long series of years when the dissection of 
the human body was strictly prohibited, the anatomists 
of Europe derived all their notions of anatomy from 
the structure of this animal. Galen's description of 
the anatomy of man was almost entirely drawn from 
his dissections of the magot; and many years after- 
wards, when Vesalius published his great and valuable 
work, " De corporis humani fabrica," the surgeons of 
the old school refused to accept the new views therein 
brought forward, and adhered resolutely to Galen in all 
points when there was a difference between the state- 
ments of the rival anatomists. Some of the most 
distinguished physicians of the sixteenth century actu- 
ally wrote treatises in support of the old notions ; and 
it was not until Camper, two centuries later, proved 
that Galen's descriptions applied only to the magot, that 
we may consider the question to have been finally 

The chief home of the magot is in the mountainous 
parts of Northern Africa, in Algeria, and Morocco, 
where these animals reside in the forests in large troops, 
and are said to attack and drive away the beasts of 
prey which intrude upon their domains, although no 
doubt they often fall a prey to the leopard, and some 
of the smaller cats which abound in Northern Africa, 
and which, by the facility with which they climb 
trees, may easily steal upon them unawares during the | 
night. Their food in a state of nature, according to 
M. Desfontaines, consists of " pine-cones, chestnuts, 
figs, melons, pistachio nuts, and vegetables, which they 
carry off from the gardens of the Arabs, notwithstand- 
ing all the pains they take to exclude these mischievous 
animals. While they are committing their thefts, two 
or three mount to the summits of the trees and of the 
highest rocks to keep watch, and as soon as these 
sentinels see any one or hear a noise, they utter a cry 
of warning, and immediately the whole troop takes to 
flight, carrying off whatever they have been able to 
lay their hands on." M. Desfontaines adds, that " in 
the wild state, they generally bring forth only a single 
young one, which, almost as soon as it is born, mounts 
on the back of its mother, embraces her neck with its 
arms, and is thus transported in safety from place to 
place ; sometimes, however, it remains firmly attached 
to the breast." 

The origin of the colony of this species, which still 
lives upon the rock of Gibraltar under the special pro- 
tection of the English garrison, has frequently been a 
subject of discussion; some naturalists thinking that the 
species must have been imported into the south of 
Spain, as some of its Eastern allies have been into the 
Mauritius. It would appear, however, that the extreme 
southern part of the Spanish peninsula harbours a 
considerable number of terrestrial animals, which are 
otherwise peculiar to the opposite shores of Africa; 
and, according to some authors, the magot itself occurs 
in a wild state upon other mountains of Andalusia, 
and even of Granada. Ancient writers also are silent 
with regard to the occurrence of their Pithecus, which 
was undoubtedly the present species, in any other part 
of Europe ; although Procopius, a Greek writer of the 



sixth century of the Christian era, mentions man-like 
apes inhabiting Corsica. In the absence of all positive 
evidence, one way or the other, we can only suppose 
that the magot, with the other African forms of ani- 
mals which occur with him in Southern Europe, may 
have extended his range into the latter region at a 
period when the two continents were united. Even 
then it would be curious that the European represen- 
tatives of the species should confine themselves to a 
bare rock at the most southern point of the peninsula, 
as if anxious still to be within sight of the shores which 
undoubtedly constitute their true home, but from which 
they are for .ever excluded. This, however, may per- 
haps be explicable upon the supposition, that important 
changes of climate may have taken place in Spain since 
the disruption of the continents at the Pillars of Her- 

The group of the Baboons at which we now arrive, 
and which closes the series of Old World monkeys, 
resembles the macaques in most of its characters, dif- 
fering principally in the form of the face, which, in the 
baboons, is produced into a snout and more or less 
truncated, or, as it were, cut off at the extremity. They 
have small eyes, placed closer together than in any 
of the preceding groups of monkeys; the hindmost 
molars in the lower jaw are furnished with one or two 
accessory tubercles as in the macaques ; and the 
tail, which is usually short, is placed very high up on 
the rump. 

The baboons are all of considerable size, larger than 
the other monkeys, but usually smaller than the true 
apes. They are of a robust form, with stout powerful 
limbs, upon which they usually go upon all fours ; they 
are, in fact, the most animal of the Simiadse. Their 
jaws are enormously powerful, and armed with immense 
canine teeth, with which they are able to inflict very 
severe wounds upon their adversaries. They usually 
take up their abode amongst the rocks, and are con- 
fined to the African continent, in all parts of which some 
species are found. One species also occurs in Arabia. 
They are ferocious and disgusting in their habits, and 
during the breeding season the posterior callosities, 
which are of large size and generally of a bright red 
colour, become so turgid and conspicuous, as to give 
the creatures a most repulsive aspect In confinement, 
even the females seem to delight in exposing these 
disgusting features to the gaze of the spectators, whilst 
the males usually exhibit the lasciviousness of their 
nature in such an odious light, that they can rarely be 
exposed freely to the public. In many cases they have 
been known to notice women amongst the spectators 
before their cages, sometimes even selecting the young- 
est and handsomest for this questionable compliment, 
and evincing their preference by unraistakeable ges- 
tures ; so that there can be little doubt, that had they 
the opportunity, they' would resort to violence for the 
gratification of their passions. 

THE HANDBILL (Papio Mormon], Plate 2, fig. 4. 
The mandrill, the largest and most powerful of the 
baboons, belongs to a genus in which the tail is very 
short, forming a small naked process which stands up 

perpendicularly to the spinal column. The head of 
this baboon is of large size, a circumstance which is 
due principally to the enormous development of the 
facial bones ; in the males, especially, these bones form 
a long muzzle, on the sides of which are a pair of large 
bony protuberances ; the upper canines are of immense 
size ; the lower jaw is enormously powerful and armed 
with sharp canine teeth ; the surface of the skull exhi- 
bits strong ridges for the attachment of the muscles ; 
and no one who looks at the entire skull of a mandrill, 
can doubt for a moment that the creature possessing 
such formidable weapons and such powerful means of 
setting them in motion, would be as terrible an anta- 
gonist as almost any beast of prey. 

The adult male sometimes attains a height of upwards 
of five feet when standing upright. The general colour 
of the fur on the back and sides is a light olive-brown, 
and on the lower parts of the body a silvery grey. On 
the forehead and crown of the head the hair is directed 
upwards, giving a curious appearance to the head ; the 
face is naked, and the protuberant sides of the nose 
are strongly ridged and marked with bright red, light 
blue, and purple. The callosities are large, and of a 
bright red colour. In the females and young males, 
the muzzle is shorter and less protuberant than in the 
old males, and of a uniform blue colour. 

The native country of this formidable animal is the 
western coast of Africa, especially in the district of 
Guinea, where it appears to have been often confounded 
with the chimpanzee in the stories related by the 
Negroes to travellers. It is known to the natives of 
different districts by a variety of names, amongst which 
Smitten, Choras, Boggo, and Barris are recorded by 
authors ; the latter name is the one given to the gorilla 
by De Laval (see p. 17), and we have already stated 
that the name of Drill, now commonly applied to the 
following species, and which evidently forms part of 
the name under which the present animal is known, 
really belongs to the chimpanzee. Considering the 
vicious character of the mandrill, we may, perhaps, 
suppose that many of the narratives of travellers, with 
regard to women being carried off into the woods by 
monkeys, apply rather to this species than to the chim- 
panzee, although both of them are charged with this 
crime. The mandrills are also described as associating 
in large troops, and driving away other wild animals, 
including even the elephants, from the districts of the 
forest in which they choose to take up their quarters, 
whilst their human neighbours are afraid to pass through 
the woods in which they reside, except in large com- 
panies and well armed. In a state of nature the 
mandrills live principally upon fruits, although, like 
the other baboons, they doubtless often devour small 
animals, and they are said sometimes to make a descent 
upon the negro villages, and plunder them of every- 
thing eatable. In captivity they eat almost anything, 
and usually acquire a strong taste for intoxicating 
liquors. A fine specimen which was exhibited many 
years ago at Exeter Change, and which had retained 
his youthful tractability to a later period than is usual 
with the male baboons, was in the habit of drinking 
his pot of porter daily, accompanying this indulgence 
with a pipe, which he smoked with great gravity. 


When thus engaged he would sit in his chair with his 
pot of porter in one hand, and no doubt he would have 
been as indignant as little Tony Weller, had he been 
offered a pint instead of his customary allowance. This 
mandrill bore the appropriate name of Happy Jerry, 
and his reputation was so wide-spread that he was 
actually honoured with an invitation to Windsor Castle 
from his Majesty George IV. 

THE DEILL (Papio leucophceus) is another species 
of short-tailed baboon very nearly allied to the man- 
drill, and, like it, an inhabitant of the Guinea coast. It 
is rather smaller than the preceding species ; its fur is 
of a more greenish colour ; the sides of the muzzle are 
less protuberant, and the skin of the face is entirely 
black. It was originally described as a distinct species 
by Pennant, under the name of the Wood Baboon ; but 
little or nothing is yet known of its habits in a state 
of nature, although in these it probably resembles the 

THE CHACMA (Cynocephalus porcarius} belongs to 
another genus of baboons, in which the tail is of 
moderate length. The chacma is the largest species 
of this genus, equalling a large mastiff in size and form, 
exceeding it in robustness and strength. It is of an 
olive-black on the back, with the sides and belly paler ; 
the whiskers are greyish and the face brown. It is an 
inhabitant of the Cape of Good Hope, where it lives in 
the mountains amongst the rocks in troops of three or 
four hundred together. Travellers through the passes 
of the Cape Mountains describe the noise made by the 
baboons, when they see the loaded waggons intruding 
upon their territory, as something terrific ; and should 
the travellers outspan for the night in the vicinity of 
their habitations, the yells and bowlings of the baboons 
are kept up all night, so as effectually to scare sleep 
from the intruders' eyelids, and make them long for the 
first dawn of day to recommence their toilsome march. 
Sometimes, however, it would appear that the baboons 
take matters more quietly, sitting peaceably on the 
summits of the rocks and gazing down upon the train 
of waggons ; should they be within reach of the rifles 
of the travellers they scramble away immediately, 
climbing up the faces of nearly perpendicular rocks, by 
the help of certain creeping plants which, in many 
places, form a network over the rocks, and from the 
use to which the baboons put them, are called by the 
boors Monkeys' ladders. Their movements under such 
circumstances are said to be indescribably amusing, 
but they cannot always be observed in safety ; for the 
baboons sometimes attack travellers by throwing stones 
down upon them. 

The food of the chacma, like that of the other 
baboons, consists partly of fruits and roots, and partly 
of animal substances, such as insects, lizards, and the 
eggs of birds. In search of vegetable aliments, the 
troops often descend into the cultivated districts, where 
they do great damage. From this circumstance, 
coupled with their ferocity and other evil qualities, the 
chacmas are regarded with much antipathy by the 
Cape boors, and this feeling appears even to be shared 
by the dogs; for we are told that there is no other 
animal which they attack so readily, or with so much 
determination. Such are the strength and ferocity of 

the chacma, however, that some of the dogs generally 
pay dearly for their temerity, and the boors would 
almost prefer setting their dogs upon a lion, to letting 
them go in pursuit of one of these animals. Even the 
leopard, which inhabits the same districts as this 
powerful baboon, and feeds principally upon the females 
and young males of the chacma, often meets with a 
disappointment when he ventures upon an old male. 

Notwithstanding these bad qualities the young 
chacmas are often domesticated at the Cape, when 
they are said to show great docility, and to fulfil the 
important office of keeping guard and giving notice of 
the approach of a stranger as well as or better than a 
dog. They are also trained to perform some other 
useful duties. Sometimes a smith will be seen with a 
chacma attending to his fire, or a peasant committing 
the guidance of his oxen to one of these animals ; but 
in whatever way they may be employed, they require 
to be always under the eye of the master. They are 
also noted for the sagacity with which they reject any 
unwholesome food, so that a Hottentot will never touch 
anything that has been refused by a chacma. This 
renders it exceedingly difficult to poison them, and 
M. Pucheran mentions a case in which one of these 
animals actually abstained for ten days from touching 
some poisoned food which had been prepared to kill 
him. From the account given by M. Le Vaillant of 
one of these baboons which was in his possession in 
Africa, they would appear to be good-tempered, amus- 
ing, and even affectionate ; but these good qualities in 
all probability wear off in course of time, as the adult 
specimens which have been kept in menageries in 
Europe, have exhibited all the ferocity and other dis- 
gusting qualities of their congeners. 

THE DERRIAS (Cynocephalus Hamadryad). Several 
species of baboons are found abundantly in the north- 
eastern part of the African continent, in Nubia, Abys- 
sinia, and even in the mountains of Arabia. Amongst 
these the most celebrated is the derrias, a large species, 
standing about four feet in height when erect, which is 
remarkable from its having the whole fore part of the 
body, as far as the loins, covered with long shaggy hair, 
whilst that of the hinder quarters is short ; so that the 
creature has not unaptly been compared to a clipped 
French poodle. In its habits the derrias closely resem- 
bles the preceding species. 

By some writers this is considered to be the ape 
T/toth, so commonly represented upon Egyptian monu- 
ments, usually in a sitting posture, but variously em- 
ployed. He was the emblem of Hermes (Thoth) the 
inventor of letters and of the art of writing, and Hora- 
pollon, an ancient author, relates that whenever one of 
these baboons was brought to the temples, he was met 
by a priest who presented him with tablets and pen and 
ink, to ascertain whether he really belonged to the 
family of those who understood writing.* Subsequently 
the thoth appears to have become the symbol of the 
supreme judge of the souls of men; and in this capacity 
he is frequently represented with a pair of scales, in 
which the good and bad actions of those before him 

* This may remind our readers of the story in the "Thou- 
sand and One Nights," in which a prince, metamorphosed into 
an ape, discovers his human quality by writing. 


are to be weighed. Ehrenberg thinks, with some pro- 
bability, that the singular head-dress which is so 
frequently represented on Egyptian monuments, was 
an imitation of the remarkable hairy covering of this 
sacred monkey. 

THE COMMON BABOON (Cynoceplialus Papio), the 
last species to which we shall refer, is a native of the 
western coast of Africa, where it appears to be exceed- 
ingly abundant. Of all the baboons it is the one which 
is most frequently brought to this country, and its good 
temper, familiarity, and curious habits when young, 
render it a great favourite with the visitors to mena- 
geries. As it increases in age, however, it acquires the 
same repulsive habits as its allies, although perhaps in 
a somewhat less degree, and in some cases the adult 
males have been known to retain much of their youth- 
ful docility. It also exhibits great intelligence. 

The general colour of this baboon is reddish-brown ; 
the whiskers are light fawn colour; the face nearly black, 
and the callosities reddish-violet. It is one of those 
Simiadae which support the climate of Europe with 
least inconvenience, and it has frequently bred in our 
menageries. The adults, and even the males, exhibit 
much attachment to the young animals, nursing them 
with great tenderness whilst they are very young, and 
treating them afterwards with far more kindness than 
is usually shown by monkeys in captivity towards their 

With the baboons we terminate the long series of 
interesting species which constitute the family Simiada, 
and at the same time the first section of the great tribe 
of SIMILE or monkeys. In these, as already stated 
(p. 14), the nostrils are placed close together and 
separated only by a narrow partition; whilst in the 
second section of the Simise the nose is broad and flat 
and the nostrils separated by a wide interval. We 
have already adverted to the remarkable zoological 
distribution of these two nearly-related groups of 
animals ; the first section, Catarrhine, being restricted 
to the eastern hemisphere, while the Platyrrhine, or 
Flat-nosed monkeys are as exclusively confined to the 
New World. In the Old World, as we have seen, the 
monkeys are almost exclusively inhabitants of tropical 
regions, and this is still more decidedly the case in 
America, where these animals are confined to the 
forests of the hottest parts of the southern continent. 

Although the species of American monkeys are 
exceedingly numerous, they present no such variety of 
form and habits as their eastern brethren, and we shall 
therefore be able, by selecting a few of the more strik- 
ing species, to give the reader a good idea of the whole 
group. They are all of small or medium size, and 
arboreal in their habits; all are destitute of cheek- 
pouches and callosities, which are possessed by the 
majority of the Old World species ; their food is of a 
mixed animal and vegetable nature ; and in their dis- 
positions they are usually good-tempered, docile, and 
intelligent. Nevertheless, with all these characters in 
common, the American monkeys present certain struc- 
tural peculiarities, by which they may be divided into 
two distinct families. 


The first and most important of these families is that 
of the Cebidae, which is at once distinguished from all the 
other monkeys by a most important character, namely, 
the presence of four additional molars there being six of 
these teeth in each side of each jaw ; so that, the number 
and distribution of the other teeth remaining the same, 
there are in all thirty -six teeth in this family, whilst 
the rest of the monkeys have only thirty-two. From 
the second family of American monkeys the Cebidse 
further differ in having the fingers all furnished with 
flat nails. With but one or two exceptions they have 
very long tails, and in most cases these organs are pre- 
hensile at the tip, so that these creatures are, as it 
were, provided with a fifth hand, which is of the greatest 
service to them in their rapid and agile movements 
amongst the branches of the trees. 

THE BED HOWLING MONKEY (Mycftes Seniculus), 
Plate 2, fig. 5. The Howlers, or howling monkeys 
(Mycetes), are the largest and most robust of the 
American monkeys, appearing in some respects to 
represent in the New Continent the orangs and chim- 
panzees of the Old World. Their jaws are large 
and powerful, and armed with strong teeth, the struc- 
ture of which indicates their food to be principally of a 
vegetable nature. Their colours are usually reddish 
or brown, and they are furnished with a long and well- 
furred tail, which has the tip naked on the lower sur- 
face, and is strongly prehensile. 

The most remarkable peculiarity of these animals, 
and the one to which their name of howlers refers, 
consists in the fearful noise which they produce every 
morning and evening, and often during the night, 
which, according to Humboldt and Azara, may be 
heard at a distance of more than a mile. Azara com- 
pares the noise " to the creaking of a great number of 
ungreased carts ;" and Waterton states that, on hearing 
the howlers in the primaeval forests of Guiana, " you 
would suppose that half the wild beasts of the forest 
were collecting for the work of carnage ; now it is the 
tremendous roar of the jaguar, as he springs on his 
prey ; now it changes to his deep-toned growlings, as 
he is pressed on all sides by superior force ; and now 
you hear his last dying moan beneath a mortal wound." 
It is still a question whether these terrible bowlings 
are produced by a single monkey at a time, or by a 
general chorus of a whole tribe ; but the Indians fully 
believe that one of the number commences the concert. 
Marcgrave, in his "Natural History of Brazil," pub- 
lished in 1648, gives us, evidently from the reports of 
the Indians, a very circumstantial account of the pro- 
ceedings of the howlers. He says that every morning 
and evening these monkeys assemble in the woods, 
and that one of them then perches himself in the 
highest place he can reach, and makes a sign to the 
others to sit around him. He then commences his 
discourse, with a voice so loud, that, according to our 
author, it might be supposed that the whole of them 
were howling together, although they sit in the most 
decorous manner in perfect silence, listening to the 
vociferation of the self-elected preacher. When the 
latter ceases, however, he makes another sign with his 



hand, when the assembly indemnifies itself for the 
previous restraint by bursting at once into clamour. 
Marcgrave adds, that they again become silent at a sign 
from the chief, who then resumes his howling for a 
time. When he ceases the assembly breaks up. This 
tale evidently contains great exaggerations; but it is 
quite possible that one of the monkeys may commence 
the howling, and the reports of more trustworthy 
travellers prove that a single individual is quite capable 
of producing a most unbearable noise. 

The structure by which these creatures are enabled 
to give utterance to sounds apparently so out of all 
proportion to their size, is of a very curious nature. 
The two sides or branches of the lower jaw are enor- 
mously enlarged, so that they form a pair of bony 
plates descending vertically from the skull, and, when 
seen from the side, appear fully as large as the latter. 
Between these is a rounded bony case, consisting of 
the central part of the hyoid or tongue-bone, inflated 
into a thin hollow ball. This receives a membranous 
pouch, which communicates with the larynx, and it is 
by the reverberation of the voice in the hollow space 
thus formed, that it acquires the tremendous power to 
which we have just referred. 

In their habits the howlers are dull and morose ; 
their movements are slow ; and they live in small parties 
under the guidance of a chief, who is always an old 
male. The latter is said to place himself in an elevated 
situation, to guard against the approach of danger to the 
little band under his care; but, notwithstanding this 
precaution, the animals may be easily approached, 
although it would appear to be by no means safe to 
stand under the trees occupied by them, as a sudden 
fright sometimes produces very disagreeable effects. 
In passing from branch to branch, the howlers, in com- 
mon with many other American monkeys, make use 
of their tail as a fifth hand; and so great is its pre- 
hensile power, that, even after the animal is killed, it 
not unfrequently remains suspended by the tail. In 
some places they are eaten by the Indians, after being 
roasted on a spit ; but the resemblance of the body 
of one of these monkeys, when skinned, to that of a 
child, always causes Europeans to regard such food 
with a feeling of repugnance. The female produces 
only one at a birth, which she carries on her back. 

The Red Howler (Mycetes Seniculus), called the 
Alouate by Buffon, and the Royal Monkey, or King 
of the Monkeys, by the South American Indians, is 
a native of Guiana, where it inhabits only the woods 
in the lower grounds. Its length, to the root of the 
tail, is usually twenty-two inches, and the tail is of 
about the same length. The general colour of the 
i.air is a fine red, brighter on the head and limbs ; 
the face is naked and black. Several other species 
are icund in different parts of the South American 
continent. Amongst these, the most abundant and 
most widely distributed appears to be the Brown 
Howler (M. Ursinus), which occurs in several pro- 
vinces of Brazil. It is the monkey whose habits fur- 
nished Marcgrave with the foundation for the story 
given above, and this has obtained for it the name of 
the Preacher monkey. 

THE HORNED MONKEY (Celus fatuellus], Plate 2, 

fig. 7. The Sapajous, Sajous, or Capuchins (Cebus), 
also called Weepers, from their plaintive cry, include a 
considerable number of American monkeys. In their 
general form they resemble the howlers, but are always 
of smaller stature and less robust form. Their heads 
are short and rounded, and their tails, although prehen- 
sile, are destitute of the naked space at the extremity, 
which gives that organ, in the howlers and spider- 
monkeys, such a firm grasp of any object round which 
it may be coiled. Their hands are furnished with per- 
fect thumbs, both on the fore and hind limbs. 

In nearly all the species the face is bordered by a 
profusion of long hair, which gives the little creatures 
a most formidably-whiskered appearance, and the top 
of the head is often similarly provided. In the horned 
monkey the hair of this part forms two strong black 
tufts, which give the creature the appearance of being 
furnished with horns. Its general colour is chestnut 
red, with the chest and belly bright red, and the 
limbs and tail brown. It is an inhabitant of Brazil 
and Guiana. 

These monkeys live in troops in the boundless forests 
of the South American continent, where they feed upon 
fruits, seeds, insects, and corn, and also upon small birds 
and their eggs. In their turn they furnish a considerable 
portion of the food of the small carnivorous quadru- 
peds, such as the ocelots, which abound in the American 
forests, and which are very arboreal in their habits. 
The sajous are of a gentle disposition, and easily tamed, 
when they may be taught a number of amusing tricks. 
They are frequently brought to Europe, not only for 
exhibition in menageries, but also to be carried about 
by itinerant musicians, who teach them to go through a 
variety of evolutions, such as firing off a small gun, 
and sweeping up the platform on which they are exhi- 
bited with a miniature broom. Their intelligence is 
very considerable : they will break a nut which is too 
strong for their teeth by beating it between two stones ; 
and a specimen which was living some years ago in 
the menagerie at Paris, would light a lucifer match by 
rubbing it upon the wall of his cage, and then hold it 
in his fingers and watch it burning without the least 
fear. Rengger, in his " Natural History of the Mam- 
malia of Paraguay," mentions several circumstances 
illustrative of the high degree of intelligence possessed 
by these monkeys. They peel oranges, and tear the 
wings and legs off the larger insects before eating them. 
When a living bird is given to them, they first bite a 
hole in the skull, through which they extract the brain, 
then pluck off the feathers, tear the bird limb from 
limb, and finally gnaw the flesh off the separate bones. 
On giving an egg to a young one for the first time, he 
would break it very clumsily, and make a shocking 
mess with it ; but in a short time he learnt by experi- 
ence to break the end gently against a solid body, 
pick off the pieces, and then suck out the contents 
without losing a drop. This mode of sucking eggs is 
also adopted by the spider-monkeys, and some others. 
But perhaps the most remarkable instance of intelli- 
gence presented by the sajous is the following : Reng- 
ger had been in the habit of giving his specimens small 
quantities of sugar twisted up in paper. One day he 
inclosed living wasps in the papers, ami the unfortu- 


nate moukeys, opening their prizes incautiously, were 
severely stung. But this was never afterwards the 
case ; for, becoming wise by experience, they always 
held the papers up to their ears before opening them. 

The species most frequently brought to Europe is the 
which is exceedingly abundant in Guiana, and also 
occurs in Brazil and other parts of South America. It 
measures about fourteen inches to the root of the tail, 
which is between two and three inches longer than 
the body. It is of a reddish-brown colour, darker on 
the back, head, limbs, and tail, but with the upper part 
of the arms tawny or greyish-yellow. 

THE COAITA (Ateles Paniscus), Plate 2, fig. 6. The 
Coaita is one of the most widely distributed of the well- 
known American monkeys to which the name of Spi- 
der monkeys has been given, in allusion to the great 
length and slenderness of their limbs. It is found over 
the greater part of the South American continent, 
from Brazil and Guiana in the West, to Peru in the 
East. In common with the other species of its genus 
(Ateles), it is totally destitute of thumbs on the anterior 
members, which thus consist only of four fingers, the 
only trace of the thumb being an imperfect metacarpal 
bone, completely concealed within the skin. The tail, 
like the limbs, is very long, and exhibits a piece of 
naked callous skin on the lower surface at the tip ; this, 
coupled with the great muscular power of the tail, ren- 
ders it, like that of the howlers, a most powerful pre- 
hensile organ, and the animals use it freely as a fifth 
hand in almost all the transactions of life. The agility 
of movement displayed by these curious creatures when 
springing freely about in their arboreal home, is in a 
great degree due to this fifth hand; grasping a branch 
with it, they swing to and fro in the air, until gaining 
a sufficient impetus, they launch themselves towards 
some other object ; and thus with the aid of the long 
limbs, pass over great spaces with inconceivable rapidity. 
Even when confined in menageries they exhibit aston- 
ishing agility. We are told also by Dampier and 
Dacosta, that when these monkeys want to pass a 
river, or to get from one tree to another at a little 
distance, without descending to the ground, they form 
themselves into a sort of chain, each clinging to the 
other by his tail; the whole then swing to and fro, until 
the lowest individual at the free end of the chain con- 
trives to get hold of the object to be attained, when he 
draws up the rest, and the whole pass over. 

The coaita measured about two feet in length to 
the root of the tail, and is covered with long black hair, 
except upon the face which is naked and brown. They 
live in the forests in troops, but frequently descend in 
search of nourishment to the plantations, especially the 
Indian-corn fields, which they plunder to an extent 
that is anything but agreeable to the owners. Their 
booty is carried off to be eaten at leisure in the woods, 
and here again the tail comes into play; for an old 
negro told Mr. Gardner, that he had often seen the 
coaita making off with three ears of Indian corn, one 
in its mouth, one under its arm, and the third in its 
tail. The coaita, and the other spider monkeys, also 
feed to a certain extent upon animal substances, such 
as insects, molluscs, birds' eggs, and even small fishes ; 

and those which reside in the vicinity of the sea are 
said sometimes to descend to the coast, and regale 
themselves with marine luxuries, especially oysters, 
which they are ingenious enough to break between two 
stones. They are said also to adopt the same course 
with nuts which are too hard for their teeth to crack, 
and their general intelligence is very high, certainly 
higher than that of any other American monkeys, and 
inferior to that of few of the Old World. 

In captivity the coaita is very gentle, and soon 
becomes tame. It is impatient of cold, and rather 
melancholy in its aspect, but exceedingly amusing from 
its agile gambols. An interesting account of a tame 
coaita will be found in Mr. Gardner's " Travels in the 
interior of Brazil." It became a favourite of his whole 
party, and especially cultivated the friendship of a 
large mastiff which accompanied them on their journey. 
On the march, Jerry, as the monkey was called, always 
rode on the back of his canine friend, but he was not 
at all particular as to whether his face was towards the 
head or tail of the dog, except in going down hill, when 
he always turned his face forwards; and to prevent 
himself from being iguominiously slipped over the head 
of his charger, made use of his tail as a crupper, by 
twisting its prehensile extremity round the root of the 
dog's tail. 

THE SQUIRREL MONKEY (Callithrix sciureus), 
Plate 3, fig. 8. The Squirrel monkey, Saimiri or Tee 
Tee, is undoubtedly the prettiest, the most amiable, 
and probably the most intelligent of the whole tribe. 
The length of its head and body is only about ten 
inches ; its tail, which is scarcely prehensile, measures 
thirteen and a half; its general colour is olive-grey, 
with the arms and legs reddish or orange-coloured; 
and the face is bare and whitish, with the nose black. 
Its eyes are large, soft, and lustrous, giving the little 
creature an expression of intelligence, heightened by 
the form of its head, in which the skull is of very large 
size as compared with the facial bones. The skull, 
with its inclosed brain, is in fact larger in proportion 
to the size of the animal than that of any other monkey, 
so that, if we may take the mere size of the brain as 
a measure of intelligence, we may easily account for 
the superiority of this interesting little creature. 

The squirrel monkey lives in the forests of Guiana 
and Brazil, feeding principally upon fruits and insects. 
Its tail is of little use to it in its arboreal gambols, but 
it appears to employ it in keeping itself warm, by wind- 
ing it round its body. In captivity it is gentle and 
affectionate, and one of the most interesting of the 
monkey tribe. Humboldt has given some interesting 
details with regard to individuals in his possession. 
When he spoke to them for some time, they listened 
with the most marked attention, but soon raised their 
hands to his lips, as if to catch the words as they 
escaped. They recognized the objects represented in 
engravings, even when not coloured ; and when the 
figures of insects and fruits were shown to them, they 
stretched out their hands towards the paper, and endea- 
voured to seize their simulated food. 

THE DOUBOUCOITLI (Nyctipithecus trimrgatus). 
The large eyes of the delicate little squirrel monkeys 
to which we have just referred, indicate probably that 


their period of activity is to a certain extent nocturnal; 
bnt in the douroucouli, this character is carried to a 
far greater extent, and this animal and its allies are 
known to sleep through the day, and to roam about 
at night in search of their food. Their eyes, like those 
of the cats, are luminous in the dark; their voice 
is very strong, and, according to Humboldt, resembles 
that of the jaguar. It seerns probable, indeed, from a 
statement made by that author in his " Aspects of 
Nature," that the concert of fearful noises heard during 
the night in the forests of tropical America, and usually 
attributed to the howling monkeys alone, is due to the 
combined efforts of many different vocalists. 

The douroucouli shelters itself in the holes of large 
trees, and according to Humboldt, lives in pairs, and 
not in troops, like most other monkeys. Spix, how- 
ever, saj's that he has seen them going about in bands. 
The tail is long, but not prehensile, and the animal 
winds it round its body when in repose. The ears are 
almost entirely concealed by the long hairs on the sides 
of the head; the colour of the fur on the upper parts 
of the body is grey; the lower parts are orange, and 
this colour also appears on the sides of the neck. The 
forehead exhibits three black lines, diverging back- 
wards; and the tail is yellowish-grey, witb the tip 
black. The length of the head and body is about ten 
inches, and that of the tail eleven. The douroucouli 
feeds principally on insects, and also on small birds, 
which it easily surprises when they are asleep. 


The Marmozets (HapalidcB), forming the third 
family of the Quadrumana, and the second of the 
American monkeys, are distinguished from the Cebidse, 
to which they are in other respects very closely allied 
by the absence of the additional molar tooth, which, in 
the latter, occurs on each side in each jaw. Thus the 
total number of their teeth and that of the different 
kinds of teeth becomes the same as in man and the 
higher Quadrumana of the Old World. The tubercles 
of the molars are also more acute than in the Cebklse, 
indicating that the marmozets are more addicted to an 
animal diet, and, in fact, a great part of the nourish- 
ment of these creatures consists of insects, eggs of birds, 
and even small birds themselves, -when these come 
within reach of the carnivorous little monkeys. Their 
tails are long and well-furred, but never prehensile. 

The marmozets are all of small size, rarely exceeding 
that of a squirrel ; their heads are small and rounded ; 
their ears usually provided with tufts of hair; the 
thumbs of the anterior hands are scarcely opposable, 
but those of the hinder pair are completely so, and 
these are furnished with flat nails whilst all the rest of 
the fingers bear claws. In every particular of their 
organization these monkeys show themselves to be 
inferior to the rest of the great group of Simise, and to 
approach more closely to the ordinary mammals, whilst 
the almost complete absence of convolutions on the 
surface of the brain would seem to indicate a degree 
of intelligence far below that, not only of the other 
Quadrumana, but even of the majority of the placental 
Mammalia. In this respect, indeed, the marmozets 
VOL. I. 

appear to approach the squirrels, with which they also 
have some other analogies ; they are incapable of the 
education which most of the other Simiae and some of 
the Cebidae in particular, may be brought to receive, 
and their instinctive faculties are very highly developed. 
The extent of their intelligence will be seen from the 
particulars recorded by Audouin of the behaviour of 
two marmozets observed by him. In a picture they 
could recognize their own likeness, and those of flies, 
locusts, and beetles, the latter of which they endea- 
voured to seize with great avidity. The picture of a 
cat, on the other hand, and that of a wasp, caused them 
to shrink with terror, and when occupied in catching 
the flies which entered their cage, which they did with 
incredible dexterity, the appearance of a wasp attracted 
by a piece of sugar fixed in the bars, drove them at 
once to take refuge at the bottom of their cage. 
Astonished at this instinctive dread of an insect which 
they could never have seen before, Audouin took a 
wasp and brought it near the two marmozets, when 
they immediately hid their heads between their fore 
hands and closed their eyes. But as soon as he substi- 
tuted for the wasp, a grasshopper, a beetle, or some 
other harmless insect, they darted upon it greedily and 
devoured it with the greatest gusto. Sugar and sweet 
fruits also constituted favourite articles of food with 
them, and they possessed the art of sucking eggs in 
great perfection. They would not eat flesh ; but when a 
small living bird was given to them, they would seize 
upon and kill it, then open its skull and devour the 
brain, at the same time licking up any blood that might 
flow: they would also sometimes eat the bill, the 
tendons of the feet, and some other parts, but always 
avoided the flesh. Mr. A. K. Wallace during his 
voyage up the Amazon had an opportunity of observing 
many similar habits in specimens of several species of 
this family, which he kept in confinement. 

M. Audouin states that his marmozets recognized 
those who had the care of them, but this is opposed to 
the observations of most other naturalists, and must 
have been due to peculiar conditions in the individuals 
observed by the great French entomologist. 

In their native regions, the luxuriant forests of 
South America, these elegant little monkeys live 
amongst the trees in small troops, displaying, amongst 
the branches, an agility almost as great as that of the 
beautiful little inhabitant of our own woods the 
squirrel. Their activity, however, is nocturnal. They 
produce as many as three young ones at a birth, which 
is an additional indication of their approach to the 
lower Mammalia; for the rest of the Quadrumana, and 
even the Cheiroptera, usually produce only a single 
young one ; and, as if to show this more clearly, it 
sometimes happens that when they breed in captivity, 
the mother will destroy one or more of her offspring, a 
circumstance which occurs still more frequently with 
the true Carnivora, and some of the Rodentia. Their 
young are born with their eyes open. 

From the foregoing account of the intellectual quali- 
fications of the marmozets it is evident, that the high 
esteem in which they were formerly held as pets must 
have been due almost exclusively to the elegance of 
their form, and the agility of their movements ; but 




whatever may have been their peculiar claims to such 
an honour, there is no doubt that in the sixteenth, 
seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries they were the 
favourite companions of the most fashionable ladies of 
Europe, and probably had even more tenderness 
lavished upon them than is bestowed upon the 
lap-dogs of the present day. We find the word 
marmozet applied to young children as a term of 
endearment by several writers of the last century. A 
remarkable indication of the early prevalence of the 
taste for having marmozets as pets, rendered the more 
striking by the absurd anachronism involved in it, is 
furnished by the fact that Guido has introduced one of 
these animals into his picture of the Abduction of 

Of this group, which includes only a single genus, 
the species appear to be rather numerous, about thirty 
having been already described, whilst, from the accounts 
given by recent travellers, there can be little doubt that 
many more remain to be discovered. As, however, 
they are all very similar, both in structure and habits, 
we shall only refer to a few of the best known species. 

THE COMMON MAEMOZET (Jacchus vulgaris), Plate 
3, fig. 9, a native of Brazil, is of an ash colour, with 
the rump barred with brown, and the tail variegated 
with darker and lighter rings ; the head and back of 
the neck are of a reddish-brown colour, and on the 
sides of the head, both before and behind the ears, are 
numerous long hairs of an ash colour. It measures 
about eight inches in length, whilst its tail is nearly 
eleven inches long. 

also a native of Brazil, closely resembles the preceding, 
but has the head and the tufts of long hair about the 
ears black ; the latter character also occurs in the 
White-headed Marmozet (J. leucoeephalus), in which, 
however, the whole front of the head is white, whilst 
the general colour of the fur is reddish. 

THE MAEIKINA (J. Rosalia), Plate 3. fig. 10, belongs 
to a section of the marmozets which has been regarded 
by M. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire as forming a distinct 
genus (Midas), characterized by having the lower 
incisor teeth short and broad, whilst in the rest of the 
family they are long and narrow. It is a beautiful 
little creature of a golden yellow colour, with the head 
and shoulders covered with long hair, forming a sort of 
mane, which has obtained it the name of the Lion 
monkey from some authors. It occurs in several parts 
of South America, especially in Guiana, Brazil, and 
Peru, and, from the beauty of its silky fur, its gaiety, 
and gentleness, it was formerly one of the greatest 
favourites of all the marmozets. The species was first 
described by Brisson, from a living specimen in the 
possession of Madame de Pompadour. 

THE PINCHE (J. (Edipus), another pretty little 
species inhabiting the same countries as the marikina, 
has the long hairs confined to the forehead and the 
crown of the head, where they form a sort of crest or 
tuft of a white colour, the general colour of the fur 
being a tawny brown, with the lower parts white, the 
face black, the ears reddish, and the tail red at the 
base and black at the tip. 

The marmozets close the great and interesting group 

of the Simise, which, as we have seen, includes those 
species which approach most nearly to humanity in 
their structure, and exceed all other animals in natural 
intelligence, whilst the last members of the series cannot 
be regarded as greatly superior, in either respect, to 
creatures which the necessities of classification compel 
us to place at a great distance below them. 

In the second group of the Quadrumana, that of the 
ProsimicE or Lemurs, the general animal character of 
the species is equally if not more strongly marked than 
in the marmozets, and yet every species exhibits the 
quadrumanous character in perfection, the thumbs of 
all the four extremities being opposable. They are dis- 
tinguished from the Simise, as already stated (p. 15), 
by the presence of a claw upon the first finger of the 
hinder hands, although the thumbs and the remainder 
of the fingers on both pairs of hands are almost invari- 
ably furnished with flat nails. The incisor teeth are 
variable in number, being frequently unequal in the 
two jaws ; the canines are always present, and usually 
of considerable size, and the molars, of which there are 
either five or six on each side, are often acutely tuber- 
cular, indicating an insect diet. 

The whole of the Prosimiae are inhabitants of the Old 
World, and the majority of them are confined to the 
large island of Madagascar, where they are almost the 
only representatives of their order. 


Of the species peculiar to the remarkable island of 
Madagascar, by far the greater number belong to the 
family of the Lemuridse or true Lemurs. In these the 
general form of the body greatly resembles that of a 
cat set rather high upon its legs ; the thumbs are all 
opposable, and the first finger of the forehands well 
developed ; the muzzle is elongated and pointed some- 
thing like that of a fox, from which circumstance the 
name of Fox-nosed monkeys has frequently been applied 
to the lemurs. The eyes are large and placed on the 
front of the head, the body is clothed with a thick soft 
fur, and the tail is long and full. 

But the most positive distinctive character of the 
family consists in the number of the teeth, of which 
there are thirty-six, namely, four incisors, two canines, 
and six molars in each jaw. The upper incisors 
usually form two pairs, separated by a small space, and 
placed almost perpendicularly in the jaw ; the lower 
ones are much longer, and project almost in a horizontal 
direction ; the upper canines are much longer than the 
lower ones, and the salient tubercles of the molars 
indicate frugivorous habits. 

These beautiful animals, of which numerous species, 
varying in size from that of a marten to that of a large 
cat or fox, occur in Madagascar, are nocturnal in their 
habits, coming forth in troops from their hiding-places 
at sundown to exhibit their wonderful activity amongst 
the branches of the trees, through which they sweep 
with a swiftness and silence that induced Linnaeus to 
compare the species known to him to lemures or ghosts. 
Their food, as already remarked, consists to a great 
extent of fruits, but they also feed freely on insects 





and, like all the lower Quadrumana, have a great liking 
for eggs and young birds, which they may seize with 
great ease during their nocturnal expeditions through 
the forest. The females produce only a single young 
one at a birth, and attend to this with the greatest 
tenderness. At first they carry their offspring about in 
their arms, the little creature aiding its mother's efforts 
by clinging to her breast; but as the young lemur 
increases in size, it coils itself round her middle, and is 
thus carried about. 

In confinement the lemurs are lively and playful, and 
the elegance of their forms and gracefulness of their 
actions render them most pleasing objects in our mena- 
geries, where, notwithstanding the tropical tenderness 
of their constitution, they have been known to live for 
many years, and even to breed. They exhibit less 
intelligence than the higher Quadrumana, but at the 
same time are destitute of the ferocity which often 
characterizes the latter as they increase in years. In 
general the lemurs are very gentle and harmless, fond 
of licking the hands of their visitors, and testify their 
contentment by a curious purring noise. According to 
the observations of M. F. Cuvier upon the mongous, 
the claw of the first finger of the hinder hands is fre- 
quently introduced into the ear and kept there some 
time, for what purpose does not appear ; the use of the 
projecting incisors of the lower jaw seems to be to act 
as a sort of coinb in cleaning the fur, which the animals 
are very fond of doing, not unfrequently performing 
this good office for each other. 

THE KING-TAILED LEMTJB, (Lemur Catta), or 
MACACO, Plate 3, fig. 11, is one of the most elegant, 
and, at the same time, one of the best-known species of 
this family. It is about the size of a large cat, and its 
general colour is a delicate ashy grey ; the sides of the 
head and face, the throat, chest, and belly, are white ; 
and the long bushy tail is beautifully marked with 
broad rings of black and white. The form of the head 
in this species is perhaps more elegant than in any 
other lemur, and the vivacity and intelligence of its 
appearance are heightened by its white, pointed, and 
erect ears. In its manners also it is usually the most 
amiable and playful of all the lemurs, and appears to 
feel more affection than any of them for its master. 

THE MONGOUS (Lemur Mongoz), is another species 
which is frequently brought to Europe, and indeed 
appears to be one of the most abundant in its native 
country. It is a little larger than the ring-tailed lemur, 
and its body is entirely clothed with a thick coat of 
tawny woolly hair. The sides of the face are orna- 
mented with a pair of orange whiskers, the top of the 
head is black in the male, grey in the female, and the 
tip of the tail is also black. In speaking of the agility 
of this species M. F. Cuvier mentions that an individual 
in his possession was able to spring from the ground to 
the branch of a tree, at a height of at least ten feet. 

The only other species of the genus Lemur to which 
we shall refer is the Pied Lemur (L. Macaco), which 
is remarkable for the distribution of its colours, consist- 
ing in large irregular patches of black ar.d white. The 
tail and hands are entirely black, as are also the face 
and muzzle; a large black patch surrounds the shoulders 
and neck, and a still larger one occupies nearly the 

whole of the back, leaving only a comparatively narrow 
white band between it and the patch on the shoulders. 
This is the most usual arrangement of the black and 
white in the pied lemur; but it varies considerably, and 
specimens have been seen in which only the tail, the 
hands, and the muzzle were black. This species 
appears to be of a fiercer character than most of its 
congeners ; some French travellers declare it to be as 
ferocious and eruel as a tiger, and M. F. Cuvier records 
an instance of a pied lemur which had lived for some 
time on good terms with a mongous having turned 
upon his companion the night after a change had been 
made in their abode, and utterly destroyed him. 

Besides these true lemurs the forests of Madagascar 
nourish several other species belonging to this family, 
which have been regarded as belonging to distinct 
genera. Most of them belong to the genus Cheiro- 
galeus, and the most important characters by which 
they are distinguished from the rest of the lemurs 
consist in the greater roundness of the head, the com- 
parative shortness of the muzzle, and the larger size ot 
the eyes. The latter character would indicate a more 
decidedly nocturnal activity than prevails even among 
the lemurs. 

THE CHEIROGALETJS MILII, one of the few species 
of this group of the habits of which we know anything, 
and at the same time one of the largest of them, measures 
about fourteen inches in length, exclusive of the tail, 
which is rather longer than the body ; it is covered with 
a thick silky fur of a tawny -grey colour on all the upper 
parts of the body, and white beneath. Its legs are very 
much shorter than in the ordinary lemurs. A specimen 
in the menagerie of Paris passed the whole day sleeping 
in a nest which it made for itself with hay, and the 
whole night in active movement. Its agility was so 
great that it could spring to a height of six or eight 
feet. It fed upon fruits, bread, and biscuits. The 
Cheirogaleus Murinus, described long since by Brown 
as the Little Macauco, is the smallest of the Lemuridse, 
its body measuring only about six inches in length ; it 
was described by Buffon in his manuscripts under the 
name of the Madagascar rat. 


The preceding are not, however, the only quadru- 
manous inhabitants of Madagascar. The forests of 
that remarkable and still imperfectly-explored island, 
nourish another family of these animals, regarded by 
some writers as standing in the same relation to the 
lemurs as the anthropoid apes to the ordinary monkeys. 
These are the Indris, which are distinguished from the 
preceding by the presence of only thirty teeth. The 
anterior teeth in the lower jaw are, however, placed 
almost horizontally as in the lemurs. 

THE INDEI (Indris Brevicaudatus), Plate 3, fig. 
12, is exceedingly remarkable in its form, and also 
deserves notice from its being the largest known species 
of the entire group of the Prosimiae or lemurine Quadru- 
mana. When in an erect position the indri measures 
upwards of three feet in height. Its tail is exceedingly 
short, indeed almost rudimentary, and its hind legs 
very long circumstances which render it the most 


manlike of all the lemurs. Its fur is very soft, long, 
and thick. Its general colour is black, with the throat 
and buttocks whitish. In its nature the indri is 
described as being very gentle, and, although not 
remarkable for intelligence, it is said to be so far 
susceptible of education that the natives of Madagascar, 
who honour it with the appellation of the Man of the 
woods, sometimes train it to hunt, probably for birds. 

If the information that we possess upon the habits 
of the preceding species be scanty enough, we know 
still less with regard to the other members of this 
family, which indeed are very few in number. They 
differ from the indri in having the tail, which in that 
animal is so greatly abbreviated, well developed and 
furred, and also in some particulars of their dentition 
upon which we need not dwell. 


The animals of this family, which includes the greater 
part of the leinurine forms found out of Madagascar, 
are distinguished from the preceding families by the 
more acutely tuberculate form of their molar teeth, 
which must be regarded as indicative of their insecti- 
vorous habits, and from those of the following family 
by their having, like the lemurs, a curved claw only on 
the first finger of the hinder hands. In the number 
and arrangement of their teeth they agree with the 
lemurs. They are strictly nocturnal animals, and, like 
most other animals of similar habits, have the eyes very 
large. The species are found in India and Africa. 

THE BENGAL LORI (Loris gracilis), Plate 4, fig. 
13, as indicated by its name, is an Indian species. It 
occurs in Bengal, Assam, Silhet, and the Malayan pen- 
insula, and also in the island of Ceylon. The lori 
measures about a foot in length, and is of a greyish 
fulvous colour, with the lower surface of the body 
whitish, and a white band running down between the 
eyes, and surrounding the nose. It has a rounded 
head, with small ears and a short pointed nose. Its 
body and limbs are slender, the first fingers of the 
hands are short, and the tail is altogether wanting. 
Its fur is very thick and soft The habits of the loris 
are strictly nocturnal. They reside in large forests, 
usually in mountainous districts, and pass the days 
sleeping in the holes of trees. At sunset they come 
forth, and move slowly about amongst the branches, 
seeking their food, which consists partly of fruits and 
the tender leaves of trees, and partly of insects, small 
birds, and mice. When on the ground their long 
slender limbs seem unable to support them, and they 
move, as described by M. F. Cuvier, in a manner 
somewhat resembling that of a very young puppy. 
Hence many writers have compared them with the 
sloths, and it is remarkable that they exhibit an 
arrangement of the arteries supplying the anterior 
limbs somewhat resembling that which prevails in 
those singular creatures. M. Gervais justly compares 
the slow and cautious movements of the loris to the 
semiparalytic gait of the chameleon. 

In their nature the loris are gentle and inoffensive, 
and not destitute of intelligence, as will be seen from the 
following extracts from an interesting account given by 

Sir William Jones, the celebrated oriental scholar, of a 
specimen which lived for some time in his possession. 
"To me," says Sir William, "who not only constantly 
fed him, but bathed him twice a week in water 
accommodated to the seasons, and whom he clearly 
distinguished from others, he was at all times grateful ; 
but when I disturbed him in writer, he was usually 
indignant, and seemed to reproach me with the un- 
easiness which he felt, though no possible precautions 
had been omitted to keep him in a proper degree of 
warmth. At all times he was pleased at being stroked 
on the head and throat, and frequently suffered me to 
touch his extremely sharp teeth ; but at all times his 
temper was quick, and when he was unseasonably 
disturbed, he expressed a little resentment by an 
obscure murmur, or a greater degree of displeasure by 
a peevish cry, especially in winter, when he was often 
as fierce on being much importuned as any beast of the 
woods. From half-an-hour after sunrise to half-an- 
hour before sunset, he slept without intermission, rolled 
up like a hedgehog,* and as soon as he awoke he 
began to prepare himself for the labours of his approach- 
ing day, licking and dressing himself like a cat. He 
was then ready for a slight breakfast, after which he 
commonly took a short nap; but when the sun was 
quite set, he recovered ah 1 his vivacity. His ordinary 
food was the sweet fruit of this country. Milk he 
lapped eagerly, but was contented with plain water. 
In general he was not voracious, but never appeared 
satiated with grasshoppers, and passed the whole night 
whilst the hot season lasted in prowling for them. 
When a grasshopper or any insect alighted within his 
reach, his eyes, which he fixed upon his prey, glowed 
with uncommon fire, and having drawn himself back 
to spring on it with greater force, he seized the victim 
with both his fore paws, but held it in one of them 
while he devoured it." 

Another species of lori (L. tardigradus), is found 
in some of the islands of the eastern archipelago, such 
as Java, Sumatra, and Borneo. It is rather smaller 
than the preceding species, and has a rudimentary tail, 
from which and other characters it has been regarded 
by some writers as forming the type of a distinct genus 
(Nycticebus). The Javanese lori has also been de- 
scribed as a distinct species. 

THE POTTO (Perodicticus Potto} is the first African 
species of this family to which we shall refer. It is 
distinguished from all the rest of the Quadrumana by 
the rudimentary form of the first or index finger of the 
forehands, which is reduced to a mere tubercle furnished 
with a little claw. The potto is a thick-set animal, 
with short limbs and a long tail. Its size is about that 
of a small cat. Its ears are of moderate size. Its 
general colour is a reddish-brown, with the extremity 
of the tail black. M. Van der Hoeven mentions, that 
in two specimens observed by him, " the spinous pro- 
cesses of the last five cervical and of the first two 
dorsal vertebrae are long, and pierce through the hairy 
integument of the back, with a weak horny covering." 
The potto is a native of the forests of the coast of 
Guinea, especially about Sierra Leone. Like the lori, 

* The individual described by F. Cuvier is said by him to 
have slept sitting in a crouching posture. 



which it resembles much in its general characters, it is 
a nocturnal animal, slow in its motions, feeding partly 
upon fruits and tender leaves, and partly upon insects 
and other animal matters. 

THE SENEGAL GALAGO (Galago senegalensis), 
Plate 4, fig. 14. The galagos, which constitute the 
remainder of this family, are elegant squirrel -like 
creatures, with rounded heads, large eyes, large mem- 
branous ears, and long tails. They differ from the 
potto in the elongation of the tarsal portion of the foot, 
and in the greater development of the first finger 
of the hauds. In their dentition and most of their 
other characters they agree with the preceding species. 
Like these they are nocturnal animals, living amongst 
the branches of the forests, where they prey upon 
small birds and insects. Fruits also constitute a por- 
tion of their nourishment. 

The Senegal Galago, which is the best known 
species, is an elegant little creature rather larger than 
a squirrel, of a grey colour, with a reddish tinge on 
some parts, and with the lower surface paler or 
whitish. It inhabits a considerable portion of the 
African continent, occurring in Senegal, Caffraria, 
Abyssinia, and Mozambique. It was first discovered 
in the first-mentioned locality by the celebrated Adan- 
son, who describes its habits as intermediate between 
those of the monkeys and squirrels. It appears from 
the statements of the great French voyage/ and of 
later observers, that the galagos principally inhabit the 
great forests of acacias which furnish the gum-arabic 
of commerce, and that the Moors who bring them 
down from their native haunts give them the name of 
Gum animals, and declare that they feed upon that 
substance. It appears, indeed, that they will eat gum 
when offered to them ; but they show a very decided 
preference for insect food, those which have been 
observed in captivity being always on the watch for 
insects, exhibiting considerable excitement when they 
only hear the sounds produced by these animals, and 
seizing upon any unlucky victim that may come within 
their reach with the greatest avidity. In their native 
haunts they display great agility upon the trees, 
amongst the branches of which they are always sport- 
ing at night, springing suddenly upon their insect prey 
with a velocity greatly aided by the length of their 
hinder limbs. They nestle in holes of the trunks of 
trees, which they line with soft beds of grass and 
herbage for the reception of their young. 

Several other species of galago have been described 
all from the African continent. The largest is the 
G. ct-assicaudatus, an inhabitant of Mozambique and 
Port Xatal, which is about the size of a rabbit. 


The galagos, as already stated, are distinguished 
from the other members of their family by the great 
length of their tarsus, and the large size of then- ears ; 
in these respects they show an evident approach to 
the little creatures which form the present family, 
and which might, perhaps, be included in the same 
group with them without much violence to a natural 
system. The tarsiers, however, exhibit so many 

peculiar characters, that although only a single species 
of the group is well-known, this may well be regarded 
as the type of a distinct family. The characters 
by which this is distinguished, independently of the 
elongation of the tarsus, are the presence of only 
two incisor teeth in the lower jaw, the uniformity of 
position of the four upper incisors, which do not stand 
in two pairs, and the existence of claws upon both the 
first and second fingers of the hinder hands. 

THE TAESIEE (Tarsius Spectrum), Plate 4, fig. 15, 
the only species of this family whose existence can be 
regarded as well established, is an inhabitant of several 
islands of the Indian archipelago, especially Celebes, 
Borneo, and Banca ; it also occurs in the Philippine 
Islands and Sumatra. It is an elegant little creature, 
about the size of a common rat, clothed with a soft 
reddish-brown fur, and furnished with a long slender 
tail, the extremity of which is tufted. The most 
remarkable peculiarity in its structure is the confor- 
mation of the hinder extremities, which are of great 
length, and upon which this little animal is described 
as leaping about in the forest like a frog. The tarsi 
are much elongated and very slender, but the feet are 
considerably widened at their extremity, and the toes 
exhibit a singular relative proportion. The inner toe, 
the opposable thumb of the hind feet, is large and 
powerful, but its next neighbour is the shortest of all ; 
the next toe and the outermost one are about equal in 
length, and that between them is the longest. By 
this means the foot acquires a singular bunched and 
deformed appearance, which, however, is probably in 
some way connected with the habits of the animal. 

The tarsier is a gentle, inoffensive, nocturnal animal, 
which may be easily tamed; when it exhibits both 
intelligence and affection to those who have the care of 
it. It resides in the damp forests of the islands above 
mentioned, where it is said by Dr. S. Mu'ller to frequent 
the tops of the trees, and its food is described by 
different writers as consisting partly of fruits and partly 
of insects. The malays call it Podje, and, according to 
Sir Thomas Raffles, the natives of Sumatra have such 
a superstitious dread of it, that if they chance to see a 
tarsier upon one of the trees in the vicinity of their 
rice fields, they will immediately abandon the spot from 
a fear that some misfortune will otherwise befall them. 
The true position of this curious creature was long a 
matter of doubt, some authors having arranged it with 
the jerboas, and others with the marsupial animals. 


We have already stated (pp. 15, 16) that besides 
the Simiae and Prosimiae, or, as they may be called, the 
Monkeys and Lemurs, two other families are commonly 
placed in the present order, although the peculiarities 
of their structure are so remarkable that their true 
position may still be regarded as a matter of dispute. 
This is especially true of the present family, which 
would seem to constitute a connecting link between the 
widely distant orders of the Quadrumana and Rodentia, 
partaking so much of the characters of both, as to have 
been placed alternately, by different zoologists, some- 
times in one and sometimes in the other of those orders. 



THE AYE- AYE (Cheiromys madagascariensis), fig. 
7, the only known species of this family is, as implied 
by its specific name, a native of Madagascar, where it 
was first discovered by the celebrated French traveller 
Sonnerat. The name, Aye-aye, conferred upon it by 
him is said to have been borrowed from the expressions 
of surprise uttered by those natives to whom he showed 

Fig, 7. 


The Aye-Aye (Cheiromys Madagascariensis). 

his specimen, and who had never seen such a creature 
before ; it was, however, supposed by him to be the 
native name of his new-found treasure, and is now 
generally received as the name of the animal. 

In its general appearance the aye-aye is intermediate 
between the galagos and the squirrels, with the latter 
of which animals it is placed by those zoologists who 
refer it to the Rodentia. When adult it measures about 
eighteen inches in length, and its tail almost as much 
more. It is clothed with a thick fur composed of two 
kinds of hair ; a thick woolly down close to the skin, 
and longer smooth hairs, which form the outer coat. 
'The general colour of the fur is a pale rusty brown, 
with the face and throat lighter ; the tail is bushy, and 
the ears -very large and naked. But the most remark- 
able characters of the animal are, as may be supposed 
from its doubtful position in the system, to be sought 
in its structure. The dentition, which, as a general rule, 
may be regarded as the best character by which to 
determine the systematic position of a mammal, would 
seem to indicate the justice of placing the aye-aye 
amongst the rodents; the incisor teeth, as in those 

animals, are two in number in each jaw, long, stout, 
and chisel-like, and the canines are altogether deficient; 
but the molar teeth, four in the upper and three in the 
lower jaw, although arranged in the same way as in the 
Rodentia, present certain characters which are not 
usual in that order. The skull, in its form, has some 
analogy with that of the galagos, and the bony orbits 
are complete a character which does not occur amongst 
the rodents. 

Thus the characters to be drawn from the head and 
leave the true position of the aye-aye still very 
doubtful, and it is only from the structure of 
the members that we are induced to place 
this animal with the Quadrumana. The bones 
of the forearms are distinct throughout their 
whole length, and both these and the bones 
of the wrist resemble those of the lemurine 
animals. The forehands, however, are very 
peculiar hi their structure, the thumb is not 
opposable, the fingers are exceedingly long 
and thin, the fourth being the longest, and 
the third the thinnest ; all are terminated by 
large nail-like claws. In the hinder-hands, 
on the contrary, there is a distinctly opposable 
thumb, and the claw of the first finger is 
evidently more elongated and awl-shaped 
than those of the others, in the same way as 
in the true lemurs. Another singular char- 
acter is the position of the teats, which are 
situated on the groin. 

The aye-aye would appear to be rare even 
in its native forests; only three specimens 
have been brought to Europe, and these are 
in the museum of the Jardin des Plantes at 
Paris. This rarity may, however, be due to 
the habits of the animal, which is a strictly 
nocturnal creature, sleeping during the day 
concealed in holes in the ground. It is 
described as being exceedingly sluggish, but 
we still know little or nothing of its general 
habits and food. According to Sonnerat 
it is insectivorous, and employs its long fingers in 
drawing larvae from their holes in the trees ; but the 
specimens which lived for two months in his possession 
were fed with boiled rice, which they took up with 
their hands, " using the slender fingers," as Sonnerat 
expresses it, " in the same way that the Chinese 
employ their chop-sticks." Other writers have sup- 
posed the aye-aye to be a frugivorous animal, and it 
must be confessed that the form of its molar teeth do 
not indicate an adaptation to an exclusively insect diet. 


Notwithstanding the singular characters presented 
by the animals forming this family, the last that we 
shall refer to the order Quadrumana, their position in 
the system is by no means so puzzling as that of the 
Cheiromys ; in fact there can hardly be a doubt that 
they form a connecting link between the two contiguous 
orders of the Quadrumana and Cheiroptera, so that the 
only question is whether we shall place them with one 
or other of these orders, or, as has been done by Pro- 




fessor Van der Hoeven, admit a distinct order for their 
reception. The latter course does not appear to us to 
be at all necessary, and we think it will be evident 
from the following description of the conformation of 
these singular creatures that their affinities are much 
closer to the lemurine quadrumana, than to the bats. 

THE GA1EOPITHECI, or Flying Lemurs, differ from 
the rest of this order in the want of opposable thumbs 
on all the feet, these being composed of five digits of 
nearly equal length, arranged in the same plane, and 
united to each other by a membrane (fig. 8). The 
limbs are rather long and slender, and on each side of 
the body, taking its rise from the neck and extending 
to the wrists, ankles, and even between the hinder 
limbs to the very extremity of the tail, is a broad hairy 
membrane, looking, at the first glance, like an ample 
cloak, in which the creature might wrap itself up 
warmly in case of need. The office of this membranous 
expansion is, however, very different ; when in use it 
is widely extended by means of the limbs, and then 
serves its possessor in the way of a parachute, enabling 
him to spring from tree to tree at great distances. 
Hence the name of flying lemurs by which the galeo- 
pitheci are commonly known. But it must not be 
supposed that this action constitutes true flight ; it is 

Fig. 8. 

Hind foot of Galeopithecus rolans. 

merely a parachute-like sailing through the air; the 
impetus being given by the spring of the creature from 
an elevated position, the expanded membrane buoys 
it up for a considerable distance, although it has no 
power to sustain or elevate itself in the air by its own 
exertions. A similar structure, adapted to the same 
end, occurs in the flying squirrels, and flying phalan- 
gens, and it is widely different from the true wings by 
which the bats are enabled to take their swift and 
noiseless flights through the dusky evening air. 

In the general form of the skull the galeopitheci 
resemble the lemurs, but the orbits are open behind as 
in the bats. The structure and arrangement of the 
teeth are, however, different from anything we meet 
with in any other group of mammals. The incisor 
teeth are four in number in each jaw, but those of the 
upper jaw are placed quite at the sides, in a line with 

the molars, so as to leave a wide vacant space in front 
above the lower incisors. The hindmost of the upper 
incisors are also remarkable for having two roots, a 

Fig. 9. 

Lower incisor teeth of Galeopithecus volans. 

character which does not occur in any other mammal. 
The lower incisors are inclined forwards as in the 
lemurs, broad and flat, and with their crowns curiously 
cleft in such a way that they resemble small combs 
(fig. 9) ; the canines are wanting in the upper jaw, 
small and notched at the edge in the lower one ; and 
the molars are six in number on each side of each jaw, 
and sharply tubercled. 

Of the other characters presented by these singular 
creatures we need only notice that they possess two 
pairs of teats, all placed upon the breast. 

THE FLYING LEMUR (Galeopithecus volans), Plate 
4, fig. 16, is a native of several of the large islands 
of the eastern seas, especially Java, Sumatra, and 
Borneo, and also of Penang, Siam, and the peninsula of 
Malacca on the continent of Asia. It is of a blackish- 
grey colour above, with some whitish spots, and of a 
tawny -grey beneath; its feet are blackish, and its total 
length about eighteen inches. 

In the luxuriant forests of the countries above- 
mentioned, the flying lemurs exist in considerable 
abundance, but they are said to select particular spots 
for their dwelling-places, especially gentle hills covered 
with young trees, in the thick branches of which they 
find a secure retreat, and quietly sleep away their days. 
The night is the season of their activity, and then they 
may be seen springing obliquely from one tree to 
another, often at a distance of a hundred yards or 
more, at the same time uttering a hoarse, croaking, 
disagreeable noise. On the ground, however, they 
are very helpless, advancing by a succession of little 
awkward leaps until they reach some object which 
they can ascend, when they climb up by the aid of 
their claws, somewhat in the manner of a cat. 
They feed upon fruits and young leaves, preferring 
those of the cocoa, palm, and the Bombax pentandrum, 
to the plantations of which, surrounding the native 
villages, they often do much injury. According to 
some authors they do not adhere strictly to a vegetable 
diet, but feed also upon insects, and even upon small 
birds when they can seize them. 




To this small anil well-marked class of mammals, it 
must be confessed, naturalists have not given that 
attention which the subject demands. Though for the 
most part composed of individuals of comparatively 
insignificant bulk, they have nevertheless important 
claims upon our consideration, both on account of the 
singular and characteristic modifications of organic 
structure they exhibit, and in respect of the part they 
play in the economy of creation. 

With regard to the habits of the bats and their man- 
ner of living, the first and most conspicuous peculiarity 
presented to ordinary observation has reference to their 
mode of flight, and the agency by which this function 
is performed. As the majority of our readers are 
aware, their titular name Cheiroptera, or Wing-handed 
family, points at once to the members of the body, 
primarily concerned in the office of flying ; but while 
the flight of birds is immediately brought about by a 
development of special integumentary appendages ic 
the form of feathers, we have here the same purpose 
| served by a membranous extension of the skin itself. 
The membrane is extremely delicate and elastic, 
extending in front from the neck and sides of the body 
to the extremity of the fingers of each upper limb, and 
behind to the tail and to the heels of the feet. It is 
thus that nature displays her indefinite resources, being 
in no way hindered by such arbitrary laws as operate 
in the fabrication of works of art. Look at the char- 
acter of a bat's flight Generally speaking its aerial 
progression is easy, regular, and sustained. It has a 
velocity sufficient to insure the overtaking and capture 
of its swiftest insect prey ; while its strength is such as 
to enable the maternal parent to carry one or two 
young ones on her back at the same time, during her 
passage through the air. Considering the solidity of 
their bony framework, and the absence of such air 
cavities as are found in birds, it would at first sight 
appear that bats have relatively a greater specific 
gravity than birds, and consequently a greater degree 
of aerial pressure to contend with. This apparent dis- 
advantage, however, is more than counterbalanced by 
a proportionably greater extent of surface presented by 
the wings as compared with the weight of the body, 
than obtains in the feathered tribe. We have here in 
short all the essential conditions for a rapid aerial pro- 
gression, namely, an appropriate form, a weak specific 
gravity, and a special modification of the anterior loco- 
motive organs, forming an elastic extensile membrane. 
These conditions enable the Cheiroptera to realize a 
capacity of flight second only in degree of perfection to 
that of birds. In no other family of the first great 
division of the animal kingdom is this physiological 
action witnessed, unless indeed we are to exalt the 
leaping powers of the Galeopithecus volans to a species 
of flight. This animal, more familiarly known as the 
flying cat, or flying lemur, is also provided with 
an elastic membrane of a more limited extent than 
that of bats, but covering and connecting together the 
anterior and posterior extremities ; this structure is not 

only incapable of raising the creature in the air, but 
performs rather the office of a parachute than that of 
an organ of flight. 

The remarkable adaptations thus rendered subser- 
vient to the purposes of flight, are further, and perhaps 
more cogently, illustrated by referring to the skeleton 
(Plate 3-4, fig. 110). Here we find the solid framework 
of the body more or less attenuated in all its elements, 
with the view of imparting lightness on the one hand, 
and of retaining strength on the other. Every bone 
indicates the care taken to provide against any unne- 
cessary weight. The skull is elongated from before 
backwards, and its constituent parts thinned out in a 
striking manner ; this elongation, however, is less con- 
spicuous in those bats which feed on insects, and there 
are several other cranial peculiarities indicating greater 
strength in the insectivorous than in the frugivorous 
species. Among these may be mentioned an increased 
breadth in the form of the jaws in the carnivorous kind, 
this group also having the cusps of the teeth sharp and 
pointed, while those of the fruit-eating section are 
broader, blunter, and deeply grooved longitudinally. 
All the bats display four canine teeth, but the number 
of incisors and molars or grinding teeth varies consider- 
ably. Of the latter there are never less than three on 
either side of each jaw, while very frequently we find 
five in the upper and six in the lower, an arrangement 
which is occasionally reversed. With regard to the 
incisors, or cutting teeth, there are usually two or four 
in the upper jaw, and two, four, or sometimes six, in 
the inferior jaw. The backbone, or chain of bones, 
termed the vertebral column is chiefly remarkable for 
the large size of its spinal or neural canal, and the 
comparative breadth and strength of the bones of the 
neck. The vertebra, to which the ribs are attached 
are eleven or twelve in number, according to circum- 
stances ; but those succeeding are more variable in this 
respect, from four to seven being assigned to this so 
called lumbar region. The bones of the tail, or coccy- 
geal vertebrae, exhibit a still more striking irregularity, 
and present, as it were, a gradual dwindling away 
towards the delicate filamentary extremity in those 
species of Vespertilio where they are most numerous. 
In the genus Pteropus, indeed, there is no tail what- 
ever, but in the species of Noctula we find six bones, 
while as many as twelve occur in the genus above 
mentioned. All the ribs, with the exception of the first 
pair, have an extraordinary length, relatively more, we 
may say, than occurs in any other mammalian family. 
The breastbone, or sternum, is also unusually long and 
broad, the anterior part, or manubrium, as it is called, 
having a surprising lateral expansion in certain of the 
genera, and most conspicuously so in the horse-shoe 
bats. In all the species this portion of the little flat 
chain of bones, collectively termed the sternum, is pro- 
vided with a more or less prominent central ridge on 
the under surface, evidently corresponding to the exag- 
gerated keel-like process developed in birds to give 
attachment to the strong pectoral muscles. We also 



discover an increase of development of the other bones 
which enter into the constitution of the shoulder. The 
clavicles are elongated and much arched superiorly, the 
bladebone or scapula being likewise very surprisingly 
developed, more especially in the insect-devouring 
species. All these arrangements beautifully illustrate 
the adaptability of this mechanism to the peculiar habits 
of the Cheiroptera, while they at the same time aSbrd 
to the unprejudiced truth-seeker the most satisfactory 
evidences of creative design. The teleological argu- 
ment, indeed, may be still more vigorously enforced by 
a consideration of the osseous elements which enter 
into the formation of the arm, forearm, and hand. To 
a certain extent we have already touched upon this 
mechanism, when speaking of the characteristic function 
of flight. It is here, therefore, only necessary further 
to observe, that the upper extremity of the humerus or 
first bone of the arm is large and rounded, while the 
remainder is cylindrical and slender throughout The 
two bones of the forearm, namely the radius and ulna, 
are curiously modified; the former being extremely 
long, and the latter only faintly represented by a 
slender styliform process, or in some cases by a mere 
rudimentary flat bony nodule. By this significant 
disposition of parts all rotatory motion is effectually 
prevented, and those movements of pronation and 
supination, so essential to the welfare of the human 
and quadrumanous species, are entirely dispensed 
with. Had not these changes of structure been intro- 
duced, the comfort, nay the very existence of these 
creatures, would have been jeopardized. Such is the 
foresight of the Divine Architect ! And before con- 
cluding this part of the subject, we have further to 
observe that six small bones enter into the framework 
of the wrist, two behind, and four in front ; one of the 
former row being singularly bulky, probably because 
two other carpal bones, usually assumed to be absent, 
do in reality enter into its constitution. Succeeding 
these are the immensely elongated metacarpals and 
wire-like fingers, the phalanges of which diverge from 
one another in the expanded condition of the wing, and 
spread out to reach the lower margin of the elastic skin 
membrane formerly described. The second digit is 
the shortest, and the third the longest, while the thumb 
is comparatively insignificant, arid terminated by a 
hooked phalanx. Finally, the bones of the pelvis, and 
those of the lower limb, although they share in the 
general diminution of the osseous fabric quantitively, 
do not in other respects relatively exhibit those devia- 
tions from the normal type of skeletal structure which 
obtain in the shoulder and superior extremities. 

Before proceeding to consider the habits of Cheir- 
optera, there are several other interesting peculiarities 
of organization which cannot pass unnoticed. One of 
the most important of these is the great development 
of the ears among those bats living upon insects. In 
some species the external auricles attain a prodigious 
size (fig. 10), being frequently as large as the head, and 
occasionally nearly as long as the entire body; and 
this curious feature is, moreover, combined with an 
increased development of the internal acoustic appar- 
atus, and a special enlargement of that part of the 
auditory organ termed the cochlea. The eyes of bats are 
VOL. I. 

small, and in those kinds which have large ears they 
are almost concealed from view. The skin, generally, is 

Fig. 10. 

Head of the Long-eared Bat (Flecotus auritus). 

clothed with a soft downy hair, except on the winged 
and interfemoral expansions. The sense of smell is 
remarkably acute, more particularly in the insect- 
hunting group. Here again we find an increased 
development of the external organ, precisely analogous 
to the external ear. Certain individuals are provided 
with leaf-like appendages attached to the nostrils, and 
consequently we are fairly entitled to presume that, 
as in the case of hearing, the auricles are created with 
the obvious intention of catching sonorous vibrations, 
so also are the nasal leaflets designed to collect the 
odorous particles emitted from the bodies of the insects 
on which these animals prey (fig. 11). The sense of 
touch is likewise exceedingly sharp. For a long time 

Fig. 11 

Head of the Greater Horse-shoe Bat (Rhinolophus ferrum-equlnum). 

it was a question with naturalists how the Cheiroptera 
regulated their flight in caves and recesses of almost 
absolute darkness, there being no doubt as to the well 
ascertained fact that their movements, under these 
circumstances, were conducted with the same skill, 
ease, and rapidity as in twilight. To solve this problem 
the eminent physiologist, Spallanzani, instituted a series 
of cruel experiments. He actually deprived a number 
of bats of their sight by extracting the eyes, and filling 
the sockets with pieces of leather. They were then 



permitted to fly about, while various obstacles were 
placed in their way. Even in this unhappy condition 
the poor creatures avoided every hinderance, know- 
ingly turned sharp corners, and passed through threads 
suspended from the ceiling of an apartment, when the 
intervening spaces between the several cords scarcely 
exceeded in width the lateral diameter of the animals' 
bodies from wing to wing. The results of these experi- 
ments have been since confirmed. The astonishing 
phenomena thus exhibited at first induced Spallanzani to 
believe in the existence of a sixth sense, and this opinion 
appeared to receive general favour. It was reserved, 
however, for the illustrious Cuvier to suggest that the 
faculty in question resided in the winged and inter- 
femoral expansions of the skin, and was immediately due 
to the high sensibility of that structure. This membrane 
was then, as now, well-known to be extensively supplied 
with nerves, but it still remains to be demonstrated 
whether these nerves terminate in special tactile cor- 
puscles, or touch bodies, such as Wagner not long ago 
discovered in the tips of the human finger, or whether 
any other specialization of neural tissue may not be pre- 
sent. In the phyllostomes, or leafy-mouthed bats, the 
tongue presents a curious sucking apparatus, consisting 
of numerous processes on the surface; and these acting 
together enable them to draw in the juices of the 
animals or fruits on which they feed. In regard to the 
digestive organs we find modifications of structure co- 
ordinating with the varying characters of the teeth in 
the two principal cheiropterous groups. Those feeding 
on insects present a simple stomach, such as we see in 
the ordinary Carnivora, whereas this organ in the fru- 
givorous species displays characters more in harmony 
with the complicated stomach of vegetable-feeding 

The habits of the bat family are nocturnal or crepus- 
cular. During the day they lie concealed in dark 
recesses, and are to be sought for in the hollow cavities 
of trees, in holes of walls, and in rocky caverns; having 
an especial liking for ancient ruinous buildings, among 
whose architectural irregularities they discover most 
appropriate hiding-places, suspending themselves by 
their hind feet, the head being directed downwards. 
As the shadows of evening approach with gradually 
deepening gloom and silence, our twilight-loving friends 
steal forth from their various snug retreats. The soft 
moist air of closing day, no longer heated by the 
summer's sun, is favourable to the chase, while the 
accumulating sweetness of the balmy air, aggravated, 
it may be, by the occasional hum or buzz of some 
insect wanderer as it flits by the lonesome retreat of a 
half-awakening phyllostome, can no longer be resisted. 
The contracted crumpled-up wings are now unfolded ; 
the drooping auricles become expanded and erect ; the 
hour for action has arrived, and one by one each issues 
forth with comforting expectancy. Such being the 
preparatory attitude and behaviour of our aroused 
phyllostome, let us now direct our thoughts to the 
objects of pursuit what of them ? Thus may we 
soliloquize. Poor insects! you too have issued forth 
on your self-seeking errands. Hither and thither you 
glide on in dreamy unconsciousness of the destiny that 
awaits you. But in carrying out nature's provision for 

your abundant increase, you have, as it were, exceeded 
the proper bounds. Though we acknowledge this 
excess is more apparent than real, you cannot entirely 
lay claim to our sympathy. We admit it is no fault oi 
yours, yet, there you are, sometimes disputing possession 
of the air by your intolerable profusion. You have 
propagated too fast. Like a healthy shrub you have 
vegetated too actively, and, in a numerical point of 
view, your very budding outbids all human calculation. 
To us your success in this particular has become a 
nuisance, and our welfare is involved in your partial 
abrogation. I am glad to see the cheiropterous des- 
troyers are at hand, for to them your multiplicity is an 
occasion of rejoicing. Talk of destruction ! In early 
days the swift-winged arrow did its appointed work, 
and to-day, alas ! the deadly rifle slays its numerous 
human victims. But watch yon tiny vespertilio, see 
with what skill she steers her rapid flight. One after 
another each fluttering victim disappears, as with 
sudden stroke its course is finished by the flittermouse's 
grasp. Sic transit gloria insectorum. Yet this mode 
of living is imposed upon the Vespertilio as' a wise 
necessity. She not only purifies the air of super- 
abounding insect forms, but at the same time, secures 
her proper sustenance ; she supports her delicate fabric 
by the legitimate employment of her means, and 
accomplishes this purpose without occasioning pro- 
longed pain or unnecessary torture. How suggestive 
and beautifully tnie to nature, therefore, are the sacred 
psalmist's words " Thou openest thine hand, and 
fillest all things living with plenteousness." 

Another habit among Cheiroptera must not pass 
unnoticed we allude to hybernation. This remark- 
able state of inactivity occurs during the winter season, 
and is a provision of nature not so much brought about 
by the mere existence of cold, as by the circumstance 
of the supply of insect food being stopped. It is well 
known, indeed, that some animals belonging to the 
insectivorous mammalia, properly so called, hybernate 
in tropical countries during the summer months, for the 
excessive heat and dryness of the atmosphere causes 
the same scarcity of insect life. Whatever may be the 
explanation of the changes produced in animals so 
circumstanced, it will be readily understood that those 
occurring under opposite conditions must be equally 
astonishing. Here we have a strangely-modified 
existence a meagre semblance of vitality at the 
portal of whose doors death seems ever ready to enter 
in and claim possession. Suspended in the secret 
recesses of his temporary grave, our little bat expe- 
riences the chill of those coming events that cast 
shadows before them. But a short time since we 
watched his aerial Sittings, as he joyously snapped up 
his prey; but his pastime is over, not a few insects 
have perished, and the larvai of others lie buried in the 
earth, hoping to assume the more perfect imago form 
in the approaching spring. Left in this apparently 
forlorn condition, the bat gives itself over to a pro- 
found repose, while a series of physiological changes 
steal over him such as Professor Owen has thus 
faithfully portrayed " The breathing becomes gradu- 
ally slower than in ordinary sleep, the pulsations of the 
heart diminish in force and frequency, the supply of 



stimulating arterial blood to the muscles and the brain 
is progressively reduced, relaxation of the muscular 
fibres is converted into stiff inaction, and sleep sinks 
into stupor : at length respiration entirely ceases, and 
with it those chemical changes in the capillary circu- 
lation on which animal heat mainly depends. The 
preservation of life in its passive or latent state is now 
due to the irritable property of the heart's fibre, which 
is excited to contract by the blood in its present dark 
or carbonized state, and continues to propel it slowly 
over the torpid frame during the whole period of 
hybernation. This slow circulation of venous blood 
through both the pulmonic and systemic vessels is the 
only recognizable vital act during that period, and the 
material conveyed by the absorbents into the circulat- 
ing fluid is sufficient to counterbalance the slight waste 
thus occasioned. So long, therefore, as the state of 
torpidity continues, the bat is independent of supplies 
from without ; but it purchases that independence by 
a temporary abrogation of its vital faculties. Cold, 
senseless, motionless, and asphyxiated, its entry into 
death's chamber is prevented only by its being brought 
to his very door." Such is the sacrifice which this 
semicadaverous state involves, yet its super-induction 
furnishes the means of warding off the otherwise inevi- 
table consequence of death by starvation. On the 
approach of summer the vital forces resume by degrees 
their wonted functions, and the species again takes part 
in the pleasures of active life. 

With all our boasted national intelligence, it is sur- 
prising to how great an extent the minds of the people 
are still imbued with childish superstitions. The 
records of our police courts have recently demonstrated 
the prevalent existence of this barbarous ignorance, in 
a manner which ought to excite the deepest national 
self-reproach. Even the harmless, playful, slender 
little bat, as it innocently chases its lawful prey, is 
foolishly dreaded as an ominous visitant; and when by 
any chance an open window gives it entrance to some 
airy dwelling, what consternation marks the counte 
nances of its human occupants. Ah ! exclaims one, 
there will soon be a death in this house. Yes! 
replies another, it is a warning to prepare! Stupid 
peasant, and yet still more senseless lady. Can you 
not shake off such vain associations? What is there, 
we ask, in these accidental domiciliary visitations to 
occasion mystery, horror, or alarm? Let the simple 
statement of these creatures' habits which we have 
just given, invite you to admire and caress the beings 
you have hitherto regarded with gloomiest forebodings. 

Bats are found in all quarters of the globe. There 
is no considerable portion of the earth's surface which 
cannot produce some members of the family; but, 
as in quadrumana, certain generic types are common 
to one country, while, on the other hand distinctive 
peculiarities characterize those of another. In our 
own islands, and in Europe, all the species are insecti- 
vorous, and most of them belong to the great family of 
VespertilionidcR, being unprovided with those peculiar 
nasal leaf-like appendages formerly described. With 
regard to the distribution of bats in time, our readers 
will anticipate their recent origin in a geological point 
of view. The few and fragmentary remains with 

which we are at present acquainted, have, for the most 
part, been found in the pleistocene, or newest deposits 
of the tertiary age. Some cheiropterous fossils found 
in the old caves of Kent's Hole, near Torquay in 
Devonshire, and in the Mendip hills of Somersetshire, 
are clearly referable to existing species, while those 
procured from the lower eocine formation at Kyson, 
near Woodbridge in Suffolk, and those taken from the 
Norfolk crag deposits, also belong to existing European 
genera. The fossil forms found in America appear to 
be connected with the comparatively recent pliocene 
formation. Finally, it is worthy of remark, that no 
remains of extinct Cheiroptera belonging to the fru- 
givorous class are at present known. 


The group of individuals associated under this head 
do not exhibit foliaceous nasal appendages. They are 
all insectivorous in their habits. They display ten 
incisive or cutting teeth, namely, four in the upper, 
and six in the lower jaw. There are, as usual, four 
canines, but a variable number of molars or grinding 
teeth. The ears are not remarkably conspicuous, 
that is to say, very seldom longer than the head, and 
they are disconnected at the lower part. The fingers 
are unprovided with claws. The tail is generally a 
little exserted beyond the investing interfemoral mem- 

THE PIPISTBELLE (Vesper tilio pipistrellus). On 
the authority of the Rev. Leonard Jenyns and Professor 
Thomas Bell, we are entitled to consider this species as 
the common bat of Britain, par excellence. Some time 
ago, these gentlemen took considerable pains to show, 
and they moreover conclusively established the fact, 
that the form of bat invariably described in the older 
British natural history works as the common bat of our 
country, although extremely abundant in continental 
Europe, was in reality referable to a species, indigen- 
ous indeed, yet comparatively rare in this country. The 
bat here spoken of as scarce, is the mouse-coloured 
vespertilio. The pipistrelle is a diminutive creature, 
and is only an inch and a half in length when full- 
grown. Its ears have an oval-triangular form, and are 
about two-thirds longer than the head, being cleft at 
the outer margin. In a state of repose it is commonly 
detected in the crevices and fissures of old brick walls, 
and especially in all kinds of recesses connected with 
human habitations. Gnats and other members of the 
dipterous class seem to constitute its favourite food, 
but it would be difficult to limit its choice in this par- 
ticular. Mr. White, in his oft quoted " Natural History 
of Selborne," gives an interesting account of the feeding 
of a tame bat, which in all likelihood was an example 
of the species we are now discussing. He says it was 
wont to " take flies out of a person's hand ; if you 
gave it anything to eat, it brought its wings round 
before the mouth, hovering and hiding its head, in the 
manner of birds of prey when they feed. The adroit- 
ness it showed in shearing off the wings of flies, which 
were always rejected, was worthy of observation, and 
pleased me much. Insects seemed to be most accept- 
able, though it did not refuse raw flesh when oflered ; 



so that the notion that bats go down chimneys and 
gnaw men's bacon, seems no improbable story. While 
I amused myself with this wonderful quadruped, I saw 
it several times confute the vulgar opinion, that bats 
when down on a flat surface cannot get on the wing 
again, by rising with great ease from the floor. It ran, 
I observed, with more despatch than I was aware of, 
but in a most ridiculous and grotesque manner." These 
latter remarks have received ample confirmation from 
the observations of several distinguished naturalists. 
Speaking of the pipistrelle, Mr. Bell states, as the 
result of his experience, that this bat is capable of 
running along the ground with greater celerity than 
any other species with which he is acquainted ; whilst 
its power of climbing showed a " corresponding degree 
of agility." He adds, " I have often seen the pipis- 
trelle rise from a plain surface with a sort of spring, 
instantly expand its wings, and take flight. This was 
repeated by a single individual several times in the 
course of an hour, and without the slightest appearance 
of difficulty or effort ; it was, on the contrary, evidently 
a natural and usual action." The error, therefore, of 
the commonly-entertained notion respecting the bat's 
inability to rise from the surface of the ground, is 
clearly manifest, and if further proofs were wanting, 
we might furnish additional evidence to this effect 
from equally trustworthy sources. 

THE NOCTTTLE (Vespertilio noctula). This is com- 
monly known as the Great Bat of Britain. It is a 
large species, measuring very nearly three inches in 
length ; nevertheless, it is not, as erroneously stated in 
some works, the largest of our indigenous Cheiroptera, 
seeing it is considerably exceeded in size by the mouse- 
coloured bat above mentioned. The head is rounded 
and broad transversely ; the muzzle being short, wide, 
and abruptly truncated. One of the most striking 
features in this bat, is the length and extent of the 
wings, measuring in the full-grown individual, while 
outstretched, at least fifteen inches from tip to tip. As 
might be expected, this large amount of wing surface 
gives a corresponding power of rapid flight ; for the 
performance of this function it is, indeed, eminently 
distinguished, and exhibits a particular liking for the 
higher regions of the atmosphere, where it rapidly 
glides along uttering wild discordant cries. The most 
interesting and detailed observations on record respect- 
ing the habits of this creature, are those communicated 
to the Zoological Society of London by Mr. Daniell. 
In the published proceedings of that body it is stated, 
that "on the 16th of May, 1834, Mr. Daniell procured 
from Hertfordshire five specimens of the Vesperlilio 
noctula, four females and one male. The latter was 
exceedingly restless and savage, biting the females, 
and breaking his teeth against the wires of the cage, 
in his attempts to escape from his place of confinement. 
He rejected food, and died on the 18th. Up to this 
time the remaining four continued sulky ; but towards 
evening, they ate a few small pieces of raw beef, in 
preference to flies, beetles, or gentles, all of which 
were offered to them ; only one of them, however, 
fed kindly. On the 20th one died, and on the 22nd 
two others, each of which was found to be pregnant 
with a single foetus. The survivor was tried with 

a variety of food, and evincing a decided preference 
for the hearts, livers, et cetera, of fowls, was fed con- 
stantly upon them for a month. In the course of this 
time, large flies were frequently offered to her, but they 
were always rejected, although one or two May-chafers 
(Melolontha vulgaris) were partially eaten. In taking 
the food, the wings were not thrown forward, as Mr. 
Daniell had observed them to be in the pipistrelle ; and 
the food was seized with an action similar to that of a 
dog. The water that drained from the food was lapped ; 
but the head was not raised in drinking, as in the 
pipistrelle. The animal took considerable pains iu 
cleaning herself, using the posterior extremities as a 
comb, parting the hair on either side from head to tail, 
and forming a straight line along the middle of the 
back. The membrane of the wings was cleaned by 
forcing the nose through the folds, and thereby expand- 
ing them. Up to the 20th of June, the animal fed 
freely, and at times voraciously ; remaining during the 
day suspended by the posterior extremities at the top 
of the cage, and coming down in the evening to its 
food. The quantity eaten sometimes exceeded half an 
ounce, although the weight of the animal itself was no 
more than ten drachms. On the 23rd, Mr. Daniell 
observing her to be very restless, was induced to watch 
her proceedings. The uneasiness was continued for 
upwards of an hour ; the animal remaining all this 
time in her usual attitude, suspended by the posterior 
extremities. On a sudden she reversed her position, 
and attached herself by her anterior limbs to a cross 
wire of the cage, stretching her hind legs to their 
utmost extent, curving the tail upwards, and expanding 
the interfemoral membrane so as to form a perfect 
nest-like cavity for the reception of the young. In a 
few moments the snout of the young one made its 
appearance, and in about five minutes the whole of its 
head was protruded. The female then struggled con- 
siderably until the extremities of the radii had passed ; 
after which, the young one, by means of a lateral 
motion of its fore limbs, relieved itself. It was born on 
its back, perfectly destitute of hair, and blind. The 
mother then cleaned it, turning it over in its nest ; and 
afterwards resuming her usual position, placed the 
young in the membrane of her wing. She next cleaned 
herself, and wrapped up the young one so closely as to 
prevent any observation of the process of suckling. The 
time occupied in the birth was seventeen minutes. At 
the time of its birth, the young was larger than a new- 
born mouse ; and its hind legs and claws were remark- 
ably strong and serviceable, enabling it not only to 
cling to its dam, but also to the deal sides of the cage. 
On the 24th, the animal took her food in the morning, 
and appeared very careful of her young, shifting it 
occasionally from side to side to suckle it, and folding 
it in the membranes of the tail and wings. On these 
occasions her usual position was reversed. In the 
evening she was found dead ; but the young was still 
alive and attached to the nipple, from which it was 
with some difficulty removed. It took milk from a 
sponge, was kept carefully wrapped up in flannel, and 
survived eight days ; at the end of which period its 
eyes were not opened, and it had acquired very little 
hair. From these observations, it is evident that the 




period of gestation in the noctule exceeds thirty-eight 
days." According to the observations of Mr. White of 
Selborne, this species does not make its appearance on 
the wing until the latter part of April, and not after the 
month of July. The same authority first noticed that 
the body of the noctule emitted an offensive odour. 
Throughout Europe it may be said to be a common 
species. In Dr. Gray's catalogue of specimens pre- 
served ill the British Museum, this bat is called Noc- 
tulinia altivolans, the latter word indicating its most 
characteristic habit. 

THE SEROTINE (Vespertilio serotinus}. This is a 
moderate-sized bat, having a length of little more than 
two inches and a half, exclusive, of course, of the tail. 
The ears are tolerably large, the body being clothed 
with a long, soft, downy covering of a reddish-brown 
colour above, and gradually shading off to an obscure 
yellow tint at the under part of the body. Mr. Bell 
says, " It appears to have very much the habit of the 
noctule, at least as far as regards its late appearance in 
the spring, and its sound and long-continued slumber. 
It flies from evening till morning, when the state of the 
atmosphere is favourable. In France, where it is far 
from being rare, it frequent forests, where it flies among 
lofty trees. It is also commonly found amongst the 
huge piles of wood in the timber yards of Paris, seek- 
ing its place of repose on the tops of the highest piles. 
With us it appears to be a rare species, not having 
hitherto been found anywhere but around London. 
Its flight is slow ; it shuns society more than most other 
bats, being generally found either solitary or in pairs. 
It has only one young one at a birth about the end of 
May in France, probably somewhat later in this country. 
It is found in Germany, Holland, France, and Switzer- 
land." In the catalogue of Mammalia preserved in the 
British Museum, this species is designated Scotophilus 

THE MOUSE-COLOURED BAT (Vespertilio murinus). 
There can be no doubt that this is the largest of our 
indigenous Cheiroptera, as it far exceeds the noctule in 
length, measuring three and a half inches from the 
muzzle to the base or root of the tail. It is, as we 
have before stated, a common species in continental 
Europe, but exceedingly rare in Britain. The head is 
elongated, and narrower in front than, obtains in any 
of the foregoing species ; the eyes are conspicuous, and 
placed well forward ; the ears- are broad at their base, 
but markedly pointed at their tips. Its habits are gre- 
garious, and it has a special fondness for old buildings. 
It is a very pugnacious animal, and it may be remarked 
that its general appearance seems to indicate such a 
ferocity of disposition. Moths appear to constitute its 
principal insect food. In the British Museum catalogue 
this is also classed under the genus S'otophUus. 

NATTERER'S BAT (Vespertilio Nattereri). In ac- 
cordance with a distinguishing character which more 
or less marks this species, Mr. Bell designates it the 
Reddish-grey Bat. The rules observed in naming 
species are of necessity very arbitrary ; and although, 
to the eye of a well-trained practical naturalist, a varia- 
tion of colour is readily appreciated, by the general 
observer of nature differences in this respect are easily 
overlooked ; unless, indeed, they exhibit the most pal- 

pable significance. Independent of the opportunity of 
variety afforded by the introduction of authors' sur- 
names into our natural history nomenclature, it also 
offers an agreeable medium for diffusing the names 
of distinguished naturalists among those who cannot 
be expected to know, in all cases, to whom science 
is indebted for its advances in ancient or even more 
modern times. Thus, for the sake of illustration, it is 
doubtless agreeable to the general reader to be aware 
that the Dr. Natterer, whose name is employed in connec- 
tion with this bat, was a celebrated Austrian naturalist, 
who greatly extended our knowledge of the animals of 
Germany, and who, during his travels in the compara- 
tively new field opened up to him on the Brazilian 
continent, accumulated a prodigious amount of materials 
and facts, which have since enlarged the borders of 
natural history science in various departments. Having 
said thus much, partly by way of apology for adopting 
the above English specific title, we have now to observe 
that this species is scarcely two inches long. The 
head is small, as compared with the species just de- 
scribed, while the muzzle is pointed and narrow. The 
ears are about the length of the head, while the little 
appendage in front, looking like a second ear in some 
species, and called the tragus, is particularly thin and 
styliform. In regard to its habits but little has been 
noticed ; nevertheless, Mr. Bell has recorded some 
interesting observations respecting three examples, 
which were obtained from one of those well-known 
artificial caverns in the chalk-pits at Chiselhurst in 
Kent. " These specimens continued alive "for a short 
time, feeding on bits of raw meat, and exhibiting great 
familiarity not only towards their companions, but 
with myself, eating from my hand, and allowing me to 
meddle with them without evincing fear or anger. One 
of them was one morning found dead, and partially 
eaten by his companions; and the remaining two died 
shortly afterwards. They were active in their habits, 
running about the cage, and climbing with great agility. 
Their attitude when running on a plane surface was 
more horizontal that that of the long-eared bat, though 
perhaps less so than the pipistrelle, which runs along 
almost on its belly." Natterer's bat has hitherto, we 
believe, only been captured in the eastern counties of 
England. This species will be found in the British 
Museum catalogue, under the combined generic and 
specific name of Myotis Nattereri. 

THE PARTICOLOURED -RAX (Vespertilio discolor). 
This is a well-marked form, and one of the most attrac- 
tive of the species hitherto seen in this country. It 
derives its name from the peculiar mottled colour of 
the fur, the tips of the hairs on the back being of a 
light-grey colour, while their roots have a rich chestnut 
hue. On the under surface of the body the hairs are 
still variegated, but they exhibit a much lighter shade. 
The particoloured bat measures rather more than two 
and a half inches in length. The ears are of moderate 
size, the eyes being particularly small. Throughout 
Europe this species appears to be everywhere scarce, 
and only a single example has been taken in England. 
The specimen in question is now in the British Museum, 
and is named in the catalogue Scotophilus discolor. ]t 
was obtained at Plymouth. 



BECHSTEIN'S BAT (Vespertilio Bechsteinii).0n\y 
a single example of this elegant species has at present 
been procured, we believe, in this country. The speci- 
men was captured at the new forest in Hampshire, and 
is preserved in the British Museum. In the catalogue 
it is designated Myotis Beclisteinu. It appears to have 
a decided preference for woods and thickets, and takes 
up its diurnal abode in hollow trees. It is somewhat 
exclusive in its habits, mixing only with individuals of 
its own kind, and then only in small companies. Bech- 
stein's Bat rather exceeds two inches in length ; the 
muzzle is a little attenuated and pointed, while the ears 
are scarcely longer than the head. 

DATTBENTON'S BAT (Vespertilio Daubentonii). 
Throughout Europe this mammal appears to have a 
pretty wide distribution, and in the United Kingdom it 
has been taken at the far north of Scotland. It is very 
little longer than the preceding, but the head is consi- 
derably shorter, and less pointed in front. The ears are 
comparatively short, and slightly notched at the external 
margin. Its flight is low and rapid, and it frequents 
the neighbourhood of still waters. 

LEISELE'S BAT (Vespertilio Leislen). Mr. Bell 
appropriately describes this bat under the cognomen of 
the Hairy-armed Bat, on account of a remarkable band 
of hair which passes along the wing membrane at the 
under surface of the forearm. A solitary specimen 
has been obtained in this country, and is preserved in 
our great national museum, and recorded in the cata- 
logue under the generic title of Scotophilus. Its habits 
and places of resort are similar to those of the above 
species. It is two and a half inches in length; the 
head is compressed and pointed anteriorly; the ears 
are short and broadly curved at the upper part. 

THE WHISKERED BAT ( Vespertilio mystacinus). 
The masculine title in which this little animal re- 
joices is imparted to it on account of certain long fine 
hairs attached to the upper lip ; and, whatever may be 
affirmed by the learned, we think it offers but a feeble 
apology for the said development. However, the bat 
is not proud ; on the contrary, Mr. Bell avers that it is 
a " timid and restless species." The living specimen 
procured by this gentleman, instead of accommodating 
itself to the lively society of others of the cheiropterous 
family with which it was associated both in captivity 
and freedom, obstinately refused food and perished. 
Its length rather exceeds an inch and a half; the ears 
are not so long as the head, and they are somewhat 
notched at the outer margin. This bat has been taken 
in several of the southern counties of England. 

THE BAEBASTELLE (Barbastellus communis). 
This is a very well marked bat, differing from all the 
preceding in several peculiarities, although it has the 
ordinary length of two inches. The ears are united 
below over the forehead, while the nostrils are situated 
on the upper surface of its short, truncated muzzle. 
The fur is darker than usual, being nearly black over 
the region of the spine. The ears are remarkably 
broad, and of a more or less quadrilateral form ; they 
are irregularly folded at various points, and rather 
deeply cleft at the outer margin. The eyes are singu- 
larly minute, and seem to be almost included within 
the auricles. According to Mr. Bell, however, this is 

not actually the case. The eminent naturalist just 
named, kept a specimen in confinement for several 
weeks, and the account he has given of its habits are 
too interesting not to be recorded in extenso. " It 
was taken during a very hard frost in the latter end of 
December, in a large chalk cavern at Chiselhurst in 
Kent, which is excavated at the bottom of a shaft 
seventy feet deep. In this cavern, during very severe 
frosts, several species of bats are found to retreat ; and 
on this occasion I received with the barbastelle a speci- 
men of Vespertilio mystacinus, three of V. Nattereri^ 
and several of Plecotus auritus. My little prisoners, 
when brought into a warm room, soon began to exhibit 
signs of vivacity ; and the barbastelle, with the others, 
fed readily on small bits of meat and drank water. 
He was a timid animal, and did not evince the slightest 
disposition to become acquainted with me. He would 
take his food, however, with his companions, and was 
accustomed to rest with them in a cluster at the top of 
the box in which they were placed. The barbastelle 
certainly became torpid more readily than any of the 
others, and more completely so ; but when awake, 
evinced extreme restlessness, and was incessantly biting 
with great violence at the wires of his box. When 
suffered to fly about the room, he flew very low, and 
less actively than any other under similar circum- 
stances ; and he was fond of lying before the fire on the 
hearth-rug, where he appeared quite to luxuriate in the 
warmth. Whilst the long-eared bats showed much 
attachment to each other, and became very familiar 
with me, the barbastelle remained sullen and apart, 
until at length I found that he was an object of perse- 
cution on the part of his more active companions, one 
of whom I detected in the act of giving him a severe 
bite on the back of the neck. This occasioned his 
immediate removal to another box ; but this sharp 
discipline probably hastened his death, which took 
place about a week afterwards, though he continued to 
eat till the day before he died. The specimen was a 
male, and apparently an adult." The barbastelle has 
been frequently captured in England ; but it is better 
known on the continent, especially in France. 

THE LONG-EARED BAT (Plecotus auritus}. This 
is one of the most attractive members of the cheiropte- 
rous family, and, as its name implies, is possessed of 
singularly-conspicuous auricular appendages. We 
have purposely deferred the consideration of it until 
now, because it exhibits marked affinities with the 
family which will next occupy our attention. In this 
bat the ears are more than double the length of the 
head, and very nearly as long as the entire body, being j 
about an inch and a half from base to apex ; the tragi, j 
or lesser ears, as they were termed by old authors, are j 
themselves about half an inch long. It is not, however, , 
in the mere extent of these appendages that their 
attractiveness is to be considered ; it is rather owing 
to their exquisite transparency, and the power the 
creature possesses of expanding and contracting them 
in such a manner as to produce the most elegant 
festoon-like foldings, or, from the regularity of the flex- 
ures thus formed, ever and anon displaying a beautiful 
feathery appearance (fig. 12). In a state of deep 
repose the wings lie doubled up and concealed under 




the arms, while the lesser ears, erroneously so called, 
still maintain their ordinary posture. When tamed 
a condition which it can be readily taught to appreciate 
the long-eared bat exhibits a most amiable disposi- 

tion ; and in these days of vivaria it would not surprise 
us to hear of some person who had started, what might 
be termed a cheiropterarium. It would not, however, 
be placed under the management of such superstitious 

Fig. 12. 

The Long-eared Bat (Plecotus anntus). 

individuals as we have formerly described. Yet, seri- 
ously, if any doubt the feasibility of such a scheme, or 
the interest which such a step might create, let them 
first peruse the experiences Mr. Bell has recorded of 
our long-eared friends subjected to a state of captivity. 
He says " I have frequently watched them when in 
confinement, and have observed them to be bold and 
familiar even from the first. They are very cleanly ; 
not only cleaning themselves after feeding and at other 
times with great assiduity, but occasionally assisting 
each other in this office. They are very playful too, 
and their gambols are not the less amusing from their 
awkwardness. They run over and against each other, 
pretending to bite, but never harming their companions 
of the same species ; though I have seen them exhibit 
a sad spirit of persecution to an unfortunate barbastelle 
which was placed in the same cage with them. They 
may be readily brought to eat from the hand ; and my 
friend, Mr. James Sowerby, had one during last summer 
(1836) which, when at liberty in the parlour, would fly to 
the hand of any of the young people who held up a fly to 
it, and pitching on the hand, take the fly without hesi- 
tation. If the insect were held between the lips, the 
bat would then settle on its young patron's cheek, and 
take the fly with great gentleness from the mouth ; and 
so far was this familiarity carried, that when either of 
my young friends made a humming noise with the 
mouth in imitation of an insect, the bat would search 
about the lips for the promised dainty." What think 
you of this? Let the hypercritical sceptic give his 
attention ! Some people, we know, are shocked at the 
idea of making friends with what they are pleased to 
term a horrid bat a creature, which, in their estima- 
tion, is almost a representation of Satan himself a 
creature, say they, whose actions will not bear the 
light of day an eventide wanderer, whose boon com- 
panions are "spirits of evil and goblins damned" 
Uarpies, they say, such as " fell upon the hastily-spread 

tables of Virgil's hero and his friends, and polluted, 
whilst they devoured, the feast from which they 
had driven the affrighted guests" beast and bird 
united monsters, whose prerogative it is to reveal 
whispered utterances of secret thoughts profound! 
Hence! hence! ye broad -winged devils, hence! 
Reminiscences of dark and bloody deeds long past 
already overspread our frame freezing chills now 
enervate and paralyze our souls! Begone, begone, 
revolting creatures ! misshapen forms ! who can doubt 
your horrid mission ? who abide your thrice-accursed 

Whether real or fancied, such have been the 
imaginings of the ignorant and superstitious of ancient 
times, whilst to poet and painter alike our innocent and 
harmless Vespertilios have furnished ample material 
for mysterious and overwrought pictures. Virgil, in 
his third ^rieid, represents ^Eneas and his companions 
as making a descent upon the coast of one of the Ionian 
islands. Proceeding inland, they next secured from 
the plains a quantity of cattle, and forthwith prepare 
themselves a feast, when, lo! the bats appear, and 
thus we may freely render into English the imaginary 
scene which he there depicts " Suddenly, from the 
mountains, the harpies descend with terrific violence, 
shaking their icings, and uttering piercing cries ! Our 
rich dainties are torn asunder and polluted by their 
foul grasp ! We retreat under the shelter of an over- 
hanging rock, and, relighting our fires, resolve once 
more to prepare the desired feast ! Alas! here come 
the noisy crowd again, to pollute our precious booty 
with their hooked talons and horrid mouths! To 
arms ! Let us wage war upon the dreadful race ! 
Are your swords drawn? From yon lofty spot 
Misenus gives the signal! The trumpet sounds! 
Away we rush to the attack, l to violate with the 
sword these filthy birds of the sea!' 1 All in vain! 
Unharmed, with swift impetuous flight they disappear 




beneath fa stars, leaving our spoil half-eaten and 
corrupt ! *' Such in brief are the sentiments conveyed 
by the poet Virgil, who usually speaks of our cheirop- 
terous friends as so many " dreadful and filthy birds" 
(diraB obscenceque volucres) ; in one place, however, 
a character is introduced in the form of an ill-starred 
prophetess, who advocates their cause, calling 
" innocent harpies (insontes harpyias)." 

In conclusion we may remark, that dur- 
ing the state of repose, the long-eared bat 
is generally found in old buildings and 
under the roofs of houses, and when on 
the wing it emits a sharp shrill cry. If 
placed on the ground, it moves forward 
by a peculiar jerking action from side to 
side, at the same time keeping the head 
well raised. In the published catalogue 
of Mammalia preserved in the British 
Museum, this species is denominated Ple- 
cotus communis. 

sus velox), Plate 5, fig. 19. This species lives on the 
Brazilian continent, and certain of the adjoining West 
Indian islands. In common with several others of the 
cheiropterous group inhabiting the north-east coast of 
South America, it is usually known as the Bull-dog 
Bat, but this latter term is now better understood 
to apply exclusively to that particular species of 
the so called bull dog-bats, which is indicated in 
the catalogue of Mammalia preserved in the British 
Museum under the title of Noctilio Americanus a bat 
also obtained from the coast of Brazil. The genus 
Molossus is marked by the presence of large ears and 
a short head, which is abrupt and swollen at the 
muzzle. The tail is long, and projects beyond the 
square-shaped intercrural membrane. The teeth are 
twenty-eight in number, that is, four incisors, four 
canines, and five molars on either side of the upper 
and lower jaws. 


The group of bats associated under this head, though 
correctly separated into a distinct family, do not, in 
their habits at least, depart very materially from the 
insectivorous Vespertilionidse already described. Their 
distinguishing characteristic consists in the possession 
of a membranous appendage, which in some species 
is remarkably complicated. In those instances where 
this membrane is double, the form of the anterior 
division is more or less heart-shaped, the posterior 
division having the aspect of an erect lanceolate leaf 
with the apex directed towards the forehead. The 
ears are invariably large, separated from one another, 
and destitute of that usually narrow process called the 
Iragus. Occupying the situation of this latter struc- 
ture, however, we frequently find a lobed and projec- 
ing membrane developed from the base of the external 
margin of the auricle. 

Ferrum-equinum). The family characters above given 
sufficiently explain the general form of the integu- 
mentary appendage which constitutes so conspicuous a 

feature in this and other members of the horse-shoe 
bats, and imparts to them a strikingly hideous aspect 
(figs. 11 and 13). The greater horse-shoe bat is about 

Fig. 13. 

The Greater Horse-shoe Bat (Rhinolophns ferrnra-equinnm). 

two-and-a-half inches long, exclusive of the tail. The 
head is elongated and swollen towards the muzzle ; 
the anterior leaf-like appendage embraces the nostrils, 
and has the remarkable horse-shoe shape from whence 
the English name is derived. Between this and the 
posterior lanceolated appendage, there is a cup-shaped 
cavity surmounted by a sort of overlapping crest. 
With respect to the use of these complicated struc- 
tures, various suggestions have been offered ; but on 
the whole, as we have already hinted, they are rather 
to be regarded as extensions of the smelling surface, 
with the view of accumulating odorous particles, than 
as subserving any other office. In concealment this 
bat is only found in the very darkest and most gloomy 
recesses, where the light of day can gain no access, 
and where a noiseless solitude reigns supreme. Na- 
tural caverns among rocks, or subterranean chambers 
artificially hewn out in quarries now long ago forsaken, 
are its loved retreats. From these situations it issues 
forth to seek its twilight repast on maychafers and 
their insect associates. 

THE LESSER HORSE-SHOE BAT (Rhinolophus hip- 
posideros). Both this and the foregoing are European 
species and found in England, though neither of them 
can be said to be very common. At one time the 
present species was supposed to be only a variety of 
the greater horse-shoe bat ; but naturalists no longer 
entertain any doubts as to their respective distinctness 
from one another. One of the principal marks by 
which this form is distinguished, consists in the pre- 
sence of an additional filiform nasal appendage placed 
immediately in front of the ordinary lancet-shaped 
process which occupies the frontal region. On account 
of this structure, the eminent zoologist Geoffroy named 
the species Rhinolophus lihastatus, while to the greater 
horse-shoe bat he applied the specific title of Rhino- 
lophus unihastatus. In other structural particulars, 
and in their habits, the two kinds bear a very close 


THE NOBLE HORSE-SHOE BAT (Rkinolophm nobi- 
lis). This is one of the largest and rarest individuals 
of the horse-shoe family, measuring four inches in 
length, and having from tip to tip of the wings a lateral 
expansion of nearly twenty inches. It was first de- 
scribed by Dr. Horefield, who informs us that in the 
native language of the Javanese it is termed Kebbelek. 
The body is clothed with a soft downy covering, the 
hairs of the fur being extremely fine and long. Accord- 
ing to Mr. Ogilby's description, the " nasal apparatus 
consists of a broad membrane, stretching transversely 
across the nose in the form of a shelf. The sides are 
bounded by several parallel folds, and inferiorly it con- 
stitutes a semicircular envelope, which has a short 
obtusely rounded point in the middle." The colour 
is brownish above and greyish beneath. In the British 
Museum catalogue it is designated Hipposideros nobilis. 


The Phyllostomes are, in common with the pre- 
ceding family, possessed of complex nasal appendages. 
The typical species have four incisors in each jaw, of 
which the lower are very small, and are placed quite 
in front of the four canines. The latter are remark- 
ably large, the number of the molars being variable, 
though there are generally five on either side of each 
jaw. The tongue is flat, elongated, and extensile, and 
clothed with papillae in such a manner as to produce a 
kind of sucking organ, the lips being also provided with 
rows of regularly-disposed tubercles. The ears are of 
moderate size, and furnished with a tragus. The fore- 
finger is composed of two phalanges, and the middle 
finger of four. They have very considerable power of 
running along the ground. The tail is generally short. 
In some instances it is altogether absent. 

THE VAMPIRE BAT, (Phyllostoma spectrum], Plate 
5, fig. 18. Few members of the great mammalian 
series have excited more interest than this celebrated 
bat. From the earliest times its blood-sucking quali- 
ties have been memorialized ; and there can be little 
doubt, as will be presently shown, that its propensities 
in this respect are truly formidable. In seeking food 
they appear willing to attack any description of animal 
coming within their reach ; exhibiting, however, a 
special fondness for the blood of cattle, upon which 
they fasten themselves while their victims are asleep. 
Compared with many others ol the bat family, it is a 
huge creature, about the size of a magpie, and measur- 
ing upwards of two feet from the tip of one wing to 
the other. With regard to the various accounts given 
by travellers as to their ferocious and sanguivorous 
habits, we prefer to select the authentic statements of 
Mr. Stedman, who was himself bitten by a vampire, 
not only on account of their circumstantiality, but also 
because of the apparently trustworthy source from 
which they proceed. Captain Stedman thus speaks 
of these vampires: "Knowing by instinct that the 
person they intend to attack is in a sound slumber, 
they generally alight near the feet, where, while the 
creature continues fanning with its enormous wings, 
which keeps one cool, he bites a piece out of the tip of 
the great toe, so very small, indeed, that the head of a 

pin could scarce be received into the wound, which is 
consequently not painful ; yet through this orifice he 
continues to suck the blood until he is obliged to 
disgorge. He then begins again, and thus continues 
sucking and disgorging till he is scarcely able to fly; 
and the sufferer has often been known to sleep from 
time into eternity. Cattle they generally bite in the 
ear, but always in places where the blood flows spon- 
taneously. Having applied tobacco-ashes as the best 
remedy, and washed the gore from myself and my 
hammock, 1 observed several small heaps of congealed 
blood all round the place where I had lain upon the 
ground, on examining which, the surgeon judged that 
I had lost twelve or fourteen ounces during the night." 
Whatever may be thought of this narrative, it seems 
generally agreed, that while certain of the Phyllosto- 
mata live principally on the juices of fruits, there are 
others that have a special appetite for the blood of the 
higher animals, and even of man himself. From this 
circumstance it would mainly appear, that the supposed 
existence of certain imaginary spectral monsters, termed 
vampires, which, in all ages, have been believed in 
and dreaded by the superstitious, has its origin in the 
actual mode of life displayed by these creatures. A 
distinguished writer has observed that, " upwards of 
a century ago, there prevailed in several districts of 
Hungary an epidemic dread of vampires, which lasted 
some years, and gave birth to many extraordinary 
stories. It was believed that in several places, those 
among the dead who belonged to the class of vampires, 
arose nightly from their graves and sucked the blood 
of the living, who fell into consumptions and perished ; 
that those who had died in this manner became infected 
with vampirism ; and that the only way of exterminat- 
ing the plague was by disinterring all the suspected 
vampires, and, if it were discovered that they exhibited 
the tokens of their hideous character, burning them to 
ashes, or driving a stake through their middle. The 
attestations which these grotesquely fearful tales 
received, are among the most singular instances of 
human credulity recorded in all the annals of supersti- 
tion. They are, in many instances, related on the 
authority of the pastors, and other most credible 
persons of villages and towns, who depose to having 
been themselves witnesses of the scenes beheld on 
opening the vampires' graves. Some, indeed, had 
actually seen the spectres themselves on their nightly 
excursions; but more generally the subscriptions are 
by persons present at the inspection of the dead bodies; 
when, if the subject was a true vampire, he was gene- 
rally found of a florid and hale complexion ; his hair, 
head, and nails had grown ; his mouth, hands, et cetera, 
were stained with fresh blood; his eyes open and 
brilliant. Sometimes when the stake was driven 
through him, he was heard to utter cries like those of 
a living person. It was believed that the consumption 
produced by the sucking of the vampire could be cured 
by eating earth from his grave." Such is a specimen 
of the follies displayed by the profoundly ignorant and 
superstitious. Surpassing strange it is, that intellectual 
human beings can be sufficiently debased to allow a 
suggestive idea to gain such entire possession of the 
frame. That many of the parties believed what they 




stated to be strictly true, we have no manner of doubt ; 
for the phenomena of mental aberration thus produced, 
are strictly analogous to those cerebral manifestations 
which a weak mind exhibits when allowed to be under 
the controlling power of another. This is the true 
solution of mesmerism, as the writer of this article can 
confidently state, from having experienced on his own 
person all the ordinary mental changes, absurdly termed 
electro-biological, sometimes voluntarily forced upon 
the mind by his own ideal associations, at other times 
superinduced by submission to a so-called mesmerist. 
It were well if these practices and their kindred super- 
stitions could be eternally abandoned by the ascend- 
ancy of a strong-minded intelligence, coupled with a 
due supply of common sense ; and thus shall humanity 
rejoice in the possession of the mens sana in corpore 
\ sano. In some parts of Europe, even at the present 
! day, vampires are believed in, and this is particularly 
i the case in the island of Crete, where the spectres are 
termed Katakhanas. The Phyllostome, captured by 
Mr. Darwin while it was engaged in removing blood 
from the neck of a horse, is, we believe, referable to 
this genus. 

THE AFRICAN LEAF BAT (Megaderma front). 
The members of this genus were formerly classed with 
the Vespertilionidse proper, but their affinities connect 
them more closely with the present family. In many 
respects they differ from the typical Phyllostomata. 
They have no cutting teeth in the upper jaw, though 
in the lower they have the typical number. They have, 
I it is true, the usual four canines ; but of the molars 
there are only four on either side of the upper, and 
five on either side of the lower jaw. The membra- 
nous apparatus of the nose is complicated, there being 
three distinct leaflets, " one vertical, one horizontal, 
and one inferior of the horse-shoe form." The ears 
are particularly striking, being ample, oval, furnished 
with a tragus, and so united over the region of the 
forehead as to impart a heart-shaped outline to the 

Fig. 14. 

Head of the African Leaf Bat (Megaderma Irons). 

entire physiognomy, more conspicuously, perhaps, than 
obtains in any other species (fig. 14). The Mega- 
derms are also blood-suckers, and it is probable that 
their power of suction is facilitated by the absence 
of incisive teeth in the upper jaw; indeed, the very 

bones themselves i. <?., the intermaxillaries in which 
the incisives are normally implanted, are only repre- 
sented in this genus by a minute cartilaginous plate. 
The Megaderms are confined to the Eastern hemi- 
sphere. This species is obtained from Senegal and 
Gambia on the coast of New Guinea, West Africa. In 
the catalogue of bats contained in the British Museum 
it is marked Lavia frons. 


The bats classed together under this common title 
are significantly distinct both in habits and structure. 
They are almost exclusively frugivorous. Their heads 
are elongated and hairy. The grinding teeth have 
flattish tuberculated crowns, with a central longitudi- 
nal groove. The ears are not furnished with a tragus. 
The fore-finger consists of three phalanges, and is 
seldom armed with a claw. The tail is frequently 
wanting, or, when present, very short ; the abrogated 
interfemoral membrane being represented by narrow 
folds connected with the inner margin of the legs. 
These bats have a wide geographical distribution over 
the Eastern hemisphere. 

THE KAIONG (Pteropus edidis), Plate 5, fig. 17. 
This is one of the best known, and at the same 
time the largest of the frugivorous bats. The body is 
about two feet long, while the expanse of the wings 
from tip to tip is sometimes fully five feet. It is 
gregarious in its habits, and extremely numerous in the 
islands of Sumatra and Java; and to those whose 
livelihood depends upon the culture of fmit gardens, it 
proves an incorrigible enemy. The graphic account 
given by Dr. Horsfield merits special quotation, con- 
taining as it does almost all that we know of their 
destructive propensities, and the plans adopted to 
secure immunity from their attacks: "Numerous 
individuals select a large tree for their resort, and, 
suspending themselves with the claws of their posterior 
extremities to the naked branches, often in companies 
of several hundreds, afford to a stranger a very singular 
spectacle. A species of fig, in habit resembling the 
Ficus religiosa of India, which is often found near the 
villages, affords them a very favourite retreat, and the 
extended branches of one of these are sometimes 
covered by them. They pass the greater portion of 
the day in sleep, hanging motionless ; ranged in suc- 
cession, with the head downwards, the membrane 
contracted about the body, and often in close contact, 
they have little resemblance to living beings ; and, by 
a person not accustomed to their economy, are readily 
mistaken for a part of the tree, or for a fruit of 
uncommon size suspended from its branches. In 
general, these societies preserve a perfect silence during 
the day ; but if they are disturbed, or if a contention 
arises among them, they emit sharp piercing shrieks ; 
and their awkward attempts to extricate themselves 
when oppressed by the light of the sun, exhibit a 
ludicrous spectacle. In consequence of the sharpness 
of their claws, their attachment is so strong that they 
cannot readily leave their hold without the assistance 
of the expanded membrane ; and if suddenly killed in 
the natural attitude during the day, they continue 


suspended after death. It is necessary, therefore, to 
oblige them to take wing by alarming them, if it be 
desired to obtain them during the day. Soon after 
sunset they gradually quit their hold, and pursue their 
nocturnal flight in quest of food. They direct their 
course by an unerring instinct to the forests, villages, 
and plantations, occasioning incalculable mischief, 
attacking and devouring indiscriminately every kind of | 
fruit, from the abundant and useful cocoa-nut which 
surrounds the dwelling of the meanest peasantry, to the 
rare and most delicate productions which are cultivated 
with care by princes and chiefs of distinction. By the 
latter, as well as by the European colonists, various 
methods are employed to protect the orchards and 
gardens. Delicate fruits, such as mangoes, jambus, 
lansas, et cetera, as they approach to maturity, are 
ingeniously secured by means of a loose net or basket, 
skilfully constructed of split bamboo. Without this 
precaution little valuable fruit would escape the 
ravages of the kalong. There are few situations in 
the lower parts of Java in which this night wanderer 
is not constantly observed ; as soon as the light of the 
sun has retired, one animal is seen to follow the other 


; SETTING aside for a moment the remarkable devia- 
j tions of structure witnessed in the formation of the 
j wings and nasal appendages in the preceding order, 
j we appear to pass by a very natural transition to the 
insectivorous mammalia, properly so called, at least, 
when departing from the insect-feeding series of the 
. bat family. Baron Cuvier, be it observed, placed the 
| Cheiroptera at the head of his third great order of 
! unguiculated quadrupeds, collectively termed Carnas- 
siers ; regarding the few frugivorous bats then known 
1 as aberrant departures from the real carnivorous type. 
! As, however, the principal point of similarity connected 
; with these groups consists in the cutting character of 
j the grinding teeth, it will be understood that many 
i other structural considerations, of equal importance in 
j the eyes of naturalists, have determined the propriety 
j of treating certain insectivorous mammals under a 
separate order. Professor Owen, as we have seen, 
i even places both the Cheiroptera and Insectivora in his 
lissencephalous subclass an arrangement which, based 
j on cerebral characters, separates these orders still 
I further from the true carnivora, and brings them nearer 
the rodentia. The insect-eating bats also resemble the 
order at present under consideration, by their conical 
elevations on the molar teeth, while many of the 
insectivora likewise hybernate, passing the winter in a 
torpid state. A common character, prevailing more or 
less throughout the entire order, is noticed in the 
remarkable uniformity pervading the whole dental 
series, rendering it at first sight somewhat puzzling to 
recognize and separate the teeth into their ordinary 
triad divisions incisives, canines, and molars. In 
the more typical forms the canines assume their ordi- 
nary conspicuity, being also widely separated from each 
other, while the incisives are correspondingly small 

In some members the dental characters approximate 
towards the Rodentia by the elongated form of the 
anterior incisors, the remaining cutting teeth, together 
with the canines, being even shorter than the molars. 
Certain of the Quadrumana also have a dentition very 
like this. The head is lengthened, and its constituent 
bones more slender than in true Carnivora. Another 
cogent difference from the last-named family lies in 
the presence of well-developed collar bones or clavicles, 
which are only occasionally seen in the carnivorous 
mammalia in a very rudimentary condition. The 
limbs of Insectivora are generally short, and, with one 
or two notable exceptions, rather feeble ; the feet are 
furnished with five toes, and in walking the whole sole 
or palm is applied to the ground, forming a character- 
istic mode of progression termed plantigrade, and 
shared by a large section of the Carnivora proper ; the 
under surfaces of the feet are also consequently desti- 
tute of hair. The lateral integumentary expansions 
seen in Cheiroptera have entirely disappeared, while the 
nature of the epidermal covering varies considerably in 
different genera ; the tail is sometimes very short. In 
this order there is no caecal appendage to the large 
intestine. The two mammae are situated on the 
abdominal surface. The various species feed prin- 
cipally upon insects, and like the bats are frequently 
nocturnal and subterranean ; a few of them have 
arboreal habits. 


The group of species associated under this title are 
familiarly termed Moles ; and although, on a superficial 
examination, there does not appear much to invite us 
to the contemplation of their structural and functional 

at a small but irregular distance, and this succession 
continues uninterruptedly till darkness obstructs the 
view. The flight of the kalong is slow and steady, 
pursued in a straight line, and capable of long con- 
tinuance. The chase of the kalong forms occasionally 
an amusement of the colonists and inhabitants during 
the moonlight nights, which in the latitude of Java are 
uncommonly serene. He is watched in his descent to 
the fruit trees, and a discharge of small shot readily 
brings him to the ground. By this means I frequently 
obtained four or five individuals in the course of an 
hour." Several other species of this remarkable 
genus are known, and in the year 1855 we had an 
opportunity of watching the behaviour of a specimen 
of Pteropus edulis in the collection of the Zoological 
Society, Regent's Park. Notwithstanding, however, 
the great care taken to keep it alive by the necessary 
degree of artificial heat, our treacherous climate proved 
too much for it. Still more recently the society pro- 
cured a living example of an allied species, namely, the 
Shoulder-knot Bat (Epomorphorus Whitii} from West 
Africa; but this has likewise perished. These bats 
fed principally upon raisins. . 


peculiarities, yet, we venture to assert, if any one will 
undertake to make a close acquaintance with their 
anatomy, that of all known animal beings, man alone 
excepted, none will prove more interesting in a struc- 
tural point of view ; and further, none will furnish 
more striking and incontrovertible evidences of the 
truthful doctrine of final causes, and the consummate 
wisdom of creative skill. It is well known these 
creatures enjoy a subterraneous mode of existence, and 
it cannot but delight the high-souled teleologist when 
he perceives that their entire organization is beautifully 
adapted to, and eminently qualifies them for, such a 
habit of life. These adaptations are well seen in the 
skeleton, and selecting that of the common mole 
(Plate 33, fig. 104), the first peculiarity which meets 
the eye' is the apparent length of the osseous frame- 
work a result which arises rather from the shortness 
of the limbs and elongation of the head than from 
attenuation of the body itself. The bones of the neck, 
A, have very strong transverse processes, for the attach- 
ment of muscles ; but the second cervical vertebra only 
is provided with a superior spinous process, to the extre- 
mity of which there is articulated a long slender osseous 
style, which is called the nuchal bone. Altogether 
there are forty-three vertebrae, that is, seven cervi- 
cal, fifteen dorsal, B, six lumbar, c, three sacral, D, and 
twelve caudal, E. The several bones of the head are very 
early consolidated together, while the nasal cartilage 
extends forward in front to support the long projecting 
muzzle. The ribs have a tolerably uniform length, a 
circumstance which helps to impart a cylindrical aspect 
to the skeleton. The long narrow bones of the pelvis 
exhibit a similar appearance of being drawn out, as 
it were, from end to end. In regard to the hinder 
extremities, perhaps the only points worthy of remark 
refer to their general shortening, and the union of the 
tibia and fibula at the lower third of the leg ; in the 
bones of the foot there is a supplementary tarsal 
segment of considerable size, assuming in the prepared 
skeleton the character of a sixth toe. It is, however, 
in the constitution of the anterior extremity that the 
most extraordinary skeletal deviations are witnessed, 
these being well calculated to excite astonishment. 
The sternum, though not usually described in con- 
nection with the bones of the fore limb, is here so 
intimately associated with the prodigious muscular 
developments attached to it and rendered necessary 
to move the arms, that hitherto we have purposely 
passed it over. It is a very large bone, and the anterior 
portion or manubrium, as it is called, is excessively 
prominent, serving to support the collar bones and the 
first pair of ribs. The clavicles are remarkably short, 
thick- and of a quadrate form ; they form a strong 
point (fappui for muscular action. The scapula or 
shoulder-blade, on the other hand, is extremely long, 
and correspondingly narrowed more resembling, in 
fact, one of the ordinary cylindrical bones of the limb 
than its normal characteristic flatness. The humerus 
or arm-bone proper is, however, the most strangely 
altered of all, having not only lost the usual elongated 
character so constant in quadrupeds generally, but pre- 
senting an oddly-contorted and jagged outline, utterly 
incomparable to that seen in any other family. Yet, 

in all its typical constituent parts, it is a veritable 
humerus, and by its very abnormality demonstrates 
how strictly nature adheres to a given archetypal plan, 
even when the exigencies of the individual seem to 
require the introduction of a supernumerary element of 
strength. Observe the remarkable conformity to type. 
This bone presents an irregularly square-shaped form, 
and is somewhat compressed laterally. Unlike any 
other humeri with which we are acquainted, it has two 
widely separated and distinct articular facets at the 
superior end; one being articulated to the clavicle, 
the other to the bladebone. A still more manifest 
reversion of the ordinary state of things is seen in the 
situation of the elbow-joint, which, instead of occupy- 
ing its relatively inferior position, is actually placed on 
a higher level than the shoulder-joint ; and as the limb 
is turned and fixed in a semi-prone attitude, the palm 
of the hand is consequently directed outwards and 
backwards. The bones of the forearm, or radius and 
ulna, also take part in these abnormal dispositions ; the 
head or upper end of the former assuming a hooked 
character, while that of the latter is also greatly 
enlarged. By these arrangements strength is imparted, 
and all rotation of the limb prevented. There are 
no less than eleven bones belonging to the carpus or 
wrist ; they are placed in two rows, five in each, while j 
the eleventh is attached to the lower extremity of the 
radius ; this latter is sabre-shaped, and converges out- 
wards towards the lower end of the metacarpal bone 
of the thumb, giving increased breadth to the spade- 
like hand. The digital phalanges of the first two rows 
are particularly short and broad, the terminal series 
being elongated, pointed, and curved inwards towards 
the palm. In addition to these skeletal characters, 
there are others of equal importance, when considered 
in the light of a family definition. In the typical 
forms the teeth are forty-four in number, of which there 
are fourteen incisives, six above and eight below, no 
true canines, and thirty molars, seven on either side of 
the lower jaw and eight similarly disposed in the 
upper ; the anterior pair functionally representing the 
absent canines. The genera Chrysochloris and Condy- 
lura exhibit a slight departure from this dental formula. 
The moles have no external auricles; the eyes are 
very small, the feet being pendactylous and armed 
with strong claws ; the tail is usually short. Speaking 
generally, they have a stout thickset appearance ; but 
this is chiefly due to their large fleshy muscles and 
fatty accumulations, which are also covered by a dense, 
smooth, furry coat of close-set hair. 

THE COMMON MOLE (Talpa Europcea} Plate 6, 
fig. 22. Every rustic is familiar with the habits and 
oblong form of this little mammal, which measures 
five inches in length, not including the tail. Destined 
to pursue its prey beneath the surface of the earth, it 
is surprising, considering the dense nature of the 
medium, that it should be able to swim, as it were, 
through the very soil with a rapidity perfectly astound- 
ing. We have already partially unravelled the nature 
of the mechanism by which these movements are 
accomplished in our description of the skeleton ; but 
there still remains to be noticed in particular, the 
scoop-like configuration of the hands, which are convex 



on the back, and shallowed out at the palm (fig. 15). 
Every finger is armed with a strong pointed nail, grooved 
on the under surface, while all of them converge to- 
gether at the tips, forming a powerful kind of digger or 

Fig. 15. 

Froiit and back 

of the hand or fore-foot of the Mole (Talpa 

hoe. Of our more common animals, few have had 
their behaviour and manner of living more thoroughly 
exposed than the mole. Pennant, speaking of its 
powers of progression, says" The breadth, strength, 
and shortness of the fore feet, which are inclined side- 
ways, answer the use as well as the form of hands, to 
scoop out the earth to form its habitation, or to pursue 
its prey. Had they been longer, the falling in of the 
earth would have prevented the quick repetition of its 
strokes in working, or have impeded its course ; the 
oblique position of the fore feet has also this advantage, 
that it flings all the lose soil behind the animal. The 
form of the body is not less admirably contrived for its 
way of life ; the fore part is thick and very muscular, 
giving great strength to the action of the fore part, 
enabling it to dig its way with great force and rapidity, 
either to pursue its prey or elude the search of the 
most active enemy. The form of its hind parts, which 
are small and taper, enables it to pass with facility 
through the earth that the fore feet had flung behind ; 
for, had each part of the body been of equal thickness, 
its flight would have been impeded, and its security 
precarious. The skin is excessively compact, and so 
tough as not to be cut but by a very sharp knife ; the 
hair is very short and close set, and softer than the 
finest silk ; the usual colour is black, not but there are 
instances of these animals being spotted, and a cream- 
coloured breed is sometimes found in dry lands near 
Downing. The smallness of the eyes (which gave 
occasion to the ancients to deny the sense of sight) is 
to this animal a peculiar happiness ; a small degree of 
vision is sufficient for an animal ever destined to live 
under ground. Had these organs been larger, they 
would have been perpetually liable to injuries by the 
earth falling into them ; but nature, to prevent that 
inconvenience, hath not only made them very small, 
but also covered them very closely with fur. To make 
amends for the dimness of its sight, the mole is amply 
recompensed by the great perfection of two other 
senses, those of hearing and smelling ; the first gives it 
notice of the most distant approach of danger; the 
other, which is equally exquisite, directs it in the 
midst of darkness to its food ; the nose also, being very 
long and slender, is well formed for thrusting into small 
holes in search of the worms and insects that inhabit 
them. These gifts may with reason be said to com- 
pensate the defect of sight, as they supply in this 

animal all its wants, and all the purposes of that 
sense." But the most interesting researches concern- 
ing this extraordinary creature, are undoubtedly those 
of the French writer Henri le Court. This indefa- 
tigable observer pointed out that the mole pushes its 
way through the soil, not at mere random, in any 
chance direction ; but having selected certain localities 
or hunting grounds, as they have been called, con- 
structs a habitation or fortress. This is sometimes 
formed " under a considerable hillock raised in some 
secure place, often at the root of a tree, under a bank, 
or any shelter that offers protection. The fortress is 
domed by a cement, so to speak, of earth, which has 
been beaten and compressed by the architect into a 
compact and solid state. Within, a circular gallery is 
formed at the base, and communicates with an upper 
smaller gallery by five passages, which are nearly at 
equal distances (fig. 16). Within the lower and undei 
the upper of these galleries is the chamber or dormitory, 
which has access to the upper gallery by three similar 
passages. From this habitation, we should here 
observe, the high road, by which the proprietor reaches 

Fig. 16 

Fortress or liabK* 

' the common Mole. 

the opposite end of the encampment, is prolonged, while 
the various galleries or excavations open into this road, 
which the mole is continually carrying out and extend- 
ing in its search for food, and which has been termed 
its hunting ground. But to return to the chamber: 
from it another road extends, the direction of which 
is downwards at first, and that for several inches, when 
it again rises to open into the high road of the terri - 
tory. Some eight or nine other passages open out 
from the external circular gallery, but the orifices of 
these never come opposite to the passages which con- 
nect the external gallery with the internal and upper 
gallery. The extent of these passages is greater or 
less according to circumstances, and they each return 
by an irregular and semicircular route, opening at 
various distances from the habitation into the high 
road, which differs considerably from all the other 
passages and excavations, both in construction and 
with regard to the use to which it is applied. From 
the habitation this road is carried out nearly in a 
straight line, and forms the main passage of communi- 
cation between the habitation, the different portions of 
the encampment, and the alleys leading to the hunting 
ground, which open into it on each side. In diameter 
it exceeds the body of the mole, but its sides will not 
admit of two moles passing each other. The walls, 
from the reiterated pressure of the mole's sides against 
them, become smooth and compact, and its course it, 
remarkable for the comparative absence of molehills, 
which are frequent in connection with the alleys and 


quarries, as they have been termed, in constructing 
which the earth is removed out of the way to the 
surface. Sometimes a mole will lay out a second or 
even a third road, in order to the extension of its 
operations. Sometimes several individuals use one 
road in common, though they never trespass on each 
other's hunting grounds. In the event of common 
usage, if two moles should happen to meet, one must 
retreat into the nearest alley, unless both should be 
pugnacious; in which case the weakest is often slain. 
In forming this tunnel, the mole's instinct supplies the 
place of science, for he drives it at a greater or less depth, 
according to the quality of the soil or concurrent cir- 
cumstances. When there is nothing superincumbent 
threatening a disturbance of its security, it is often 
excavated at a depth of some four or five inches ; but 
if it is carried under a road or a stream, a foot and a 
half of earth, sometimes more, is left above it. Thus 
does the little animal carry on the subterraneous works 
necessary for his support, travelling, and comfort ; and 
his tunnels never fall in. The alleys opening out from 
the sides of the high road have generally a somewhat 
downward inclination, from their commencement 
towards their end. It has been observed, that when 
on opening one of these alleys, a plentiful supply of 
food is found, the mole proceeds to work out branch- 
alleys from its termination, upheaving new molehills 
as it advances in quest of prey. Should, however, the 
soil be barren of the means of existence, the animal 
commences another alley at a different part of the high 
road. The quality and humidity of the soil, which 
regulate the abundance of earthworms, determine the 
greater or less depth of the alleys. The mainroad 
being the highway of communication to its different 
hunting grounds, it is necessarily passed through regu- 
larly in the course of the day, and it is in this road that 
the molecatcher sets his traps, or practises his devices 
to intercept the animal between its habitation and the 
alley where it is carrying on its labours. Some mole- 
catchers will tell you that the hours when the moles 
move are influenced by the tides ; to which statement 
the reader is at liberty to give as much credence as 
he chooses. Besides the various traps which are set 
for them, there is, or very lately was, a man who 
travelled the country with a dog, and destroyed them 
without any trap at all, by the following process : 
Taking his station at the proper time and place, 
attended by his dog, and armed with a spear or spud, 
he waits till the dog indicates the presence of the mole, 
and then spears or spuds the animal out as it moves in 
its run. Pointers will stop at moles as steadily as at 
game, when the former are straying on the surface." 
So much for the observations of Le Court, quoted by 
Ogilby, whose description appears to have been 
borrowed from Geoffroy St. Hilaire's abridged account 
of the original discoveries, as recorded in his " Cours 
d' Histoire Naturelle des Mammiferes." The mole is 
an extremely voracious animal, and it would further 
appear from Le Court's investigations, that its appe- 
tite is exalted into a regular passion, which occasionally 
rises to such a pitch that the desire is accompanied 
with violent excitement. A species of madness seems 
to take possession of the entire frame, as it furiously 

rushes upon its prey. Its food is exclusively animal. 
It is true, and worthy of remark, that this point has 
been a subject of dispute, but the united testimony 
of several distinguished naturalists, has conclusively 
shown that the vegetable debris sometimes found in 
its stomach, must be regarded as mere accidental 
accumulations, consisting of fragments of roots and 
other vegetable matters, which have been swallowed 
along with its appropriate insect food. After advanc- 
ing some very acute reasonings on this subject, Mr. Bell 
remarks, that " the principal object of its search is the 
earthworm. In pursuit of this, its favourite food, it 
occasionally follows it towards the surface with such 
eagerness, that it actually throws itself out of its burrow 
upon the ground. It has been stated that the mole 
will not eat the larvae of the Scarabaeidae and other 
coleopterous insects that live under the ground ; but 
this is certainly a mistake, as these larvae have 
been found in their stomach. It is not, however, 
to these and similar kinds of food that the mole 
is necessarily restricted; a mouse or a bird, a lizard 
or a frog, if placed within its reach, becomes a speedy 
victim to its voracity. Toads, however, it rejects even 
when famishing with hunger, probably on account of the 
acrid secretion of the skin, first noticed by Dr. Davy. 
Geoffroy gives a curious picture of the manner in which 
it will approach, seize, and devour a small bird ex- 
hibiting, in the first place, a considerable exercise of 
stratagem to get within reach of its victim, and chang- 
ing on an instant this mode of approach for the most 
sudden and impetuous attack ; seizing the hapless ) ird 
by the belly, tearing it open, thrusting its muzzle 
amongst the entrails, where it appears to luxuriate on 
its bloody repast. Even the weaker of its own species, 
under particular circumstances, are not exempted from 
this promiscuous ferocity ; for if two moles be placed 
together in a box without a very plentiful supply of 
food, the weaker certainly falls a prey to the stronger. 
No thorough-bred bulldog keeps a firmer hold of the 
object of its attack than the mole. Mr. Jackson, a 
very intelligent molecatcher, says that, when a boy, 
" his hand was so severely and firmly laid hold of by 
one, that he was obliged to use his teeth in order to 
loosen its hold. It is not only in the warm and tem- 
perate seasons of the year, when the food of the mole 
is of comparatively easy access and exists in great 
plenty, that its labours are steadily and regularly fol- 
lowed; in the winter, when the frost has penetrated 
deeply into the soil, and the ordinary hunting grounds 
are rendered useless and impracticable, it descends to 
a considerable depth by a perpendicular shaft, till it 
arrives at the part to which the earthworms have 
been driven by the cold. Here its labours must be 
even more toilsome and less productive than ordinary ; 
but the voracity of this indefatigable gourmand must 
still be appeased : and as it lays up no store for the 
winter, and cannot fast with impunity for more than 
a few hours, it may well be imagined how incessantly 
and laboriously it must work in such a season, and at 
so great a depth, to obtain a sufficient supply of worms 
to satisfy its insatiable craving. This rage of hunger 
alternates with the most profound repose, which the 
animal enjoys either within its fortress, during the sea- 


son in which that domicile is occupied, or in a simple 
molehill devoted to this purpose, during the summer. 
Its bed is formed of various vegetable matters, such as 
grass, leaves, or similar soft substances. It sleeps for 
about four or six hours at a time in warm weather, and 
principally during the day its usual working time 
being very early in the morning and at night. In the 
spring the mole leaves the fortress, and does not return 
to this shelter until the autumn, when it does not gene- 
rally reoccupy the same edifice, but constructs another, 
leaving the old one to the occupation of the fieldmouse, 
or other small animal of similar habits. During the 
month of June, or longer, it is in the habit of leaving 
its runs, and wandering during great part of the night 
on the surface of the land in search of its food." There 
is also another mode which the mole adopts in captur- 
ing his prey, when the soil is light, and when showers 
of rain have enticed the worms to the surface. This 
is accomplished by boring shallow trenches immediately 
under the surface, surprising and catching these unfor- 
tunate annelids at the most unsuspected moments. 
Every one must have observed these mole-runs in fields 
which have been only recently sown with grain. The 
mole is a hard drinker, and bis appetite in this respect 
is in perfect harmony with his flesh-eating propensities. 
He is also a firstrate swimmer, and, as we have seen, 
his form is singularly adapted for easy propulsion 
through any firmly-resisting medium. He will not only 
take the water when inundations or a desire to change 
his hunting grounds compel him to migrate, but Mr. 
Bell avers that he sometimes takes a swim "merely 
for the purpose of enjoying the luxury of a bath." The 
male mole is exceeding fierce during the love season, 
and readily resents any individual of the same sex who 
should unhappily be paying his addresses to the same 
female as himself. Formidable pitched battles are 
fought, and much blood shed on such occasions, while 
the unfortunate object of affection is also somewhat 
roughly handled. The nest is generally situated at a 
considerable distance from the habitation ; it is well 
constructed and compact, but its place of location is 
not always to be found indicated by a hillock. When 
the latter is present it exceeds in size that of an ordi- 
nary molehill. The nest is built " by enlarging and 
excavating the point where three or four passages meet 
and intersect each other." lu one instance no less 
than two hundred and four wheatblades were counted 
by Geoffrey St Hilaire, and Le Court. From this 
circtJistance alone, therefore, we can well comprehend 
the weight of those accusations which have from time 
immemorial been levelled against the mole. Some 
distinguished naturalists, and most prominently among 
them Mr. Bell, have endeavoured to advocate its cause, 
and to contend that after all the mole is not such 
a thievish villain as some have supposed. Without 
entering at any great length into this instructive con- 
troversy, we are inclined, all things considered, to 
take the view and state the case, as Professor Owen 
has succinctly put it, in the following words "The 
farmer views the operations of the mole as destructive 
to his crops, by exposing and destroying their roots, or 
by overthrowing the plants in the construction of the 
molehills ; his burrows, moreover, become the haunts 

of the fieldmouse and other noxious animals. The mole 
is also accused of carrying off quantities of young corn 
to form its nest ; hence every means are devised to cap- 
ture and destroy it, and men gain a livelihood exclusively 
by this occupation. Some naturalists, however, plead 
that the injury which it perpetrates is slight, and that 
it is more than counterbalanced by the benefit which 
it produces by turning up and lightening the soil, and 
especially by its immense destruction of earthworms 
and many other noxious animals, which inhabit the 
superficial layer of the ground, and occasion great 
injury to the roots of grass, corn, and many other plants. 
The soundest practical conclusion lies probably in the 
mean of these opinions, and the enlightened agricul- 
turist, while he takes prompt measures to prevent the 
undue increase of the mole, would do well to reflect on 
the disadvantages which might follow its total exter- 
mination." The common mole is found in nearly all 
parts of Europe, but in Greece it is said to be scarce, 
while in the more northern counties of Scotland, and 
in the contiguous isles of Orkney and Shetland, it is 
stated to be altogether unknown. 

roura). The individuals of which this genus is 
composed, are closely allied to the true moles, not 
only in their general form, but also in their habit of life. 
Their dental arrangement is peculiar. Of the ten cut- 
ting teeth, six occupy the upper and four the lower 
jaw. The two central teeth of the superior row 
are remarkably broad, also somewhat triangular and 
curved anteriorly. The lower series slope forwards 
in an almost horizontal direction. There are no true 
canines, as usual ; but the deficiency is sufficiently 
compensated by the presence of thirty grinding teeth, 
seven on either side of the upper, and eight on those 
of the lower. The anterior three of the superior 
series, or upper false molars as they are called, are 
small, conical, and more or less widely separated from 
each other, while the inferior false molars, five in 
number on either side, are irregularly serrated and 
trenchant. Several species have been described ; but 

Fig. 17 

Snout of the Star-nose, or Condylura. 

their differentiating characters do not appear to be 
very strongly marked. In all of them the muzzle is 
prolonged into a narrow proboscis, the naked extremity 
of which is furnished with a number of moveabie 
cartilaginoid, styliform processes or caruncles, radiately 
disposed like the spokes of a wheel (fig. 17). All have 



very miiiule eyes. The ears are destitute of conspicu- 
ous auricles ; the feet are pentadactylous or five-toed ; 
the tail is of moderate length, varying, however, in 
this respect with different species, and only loosely 
clothed with hair. In the Thick-tailed 
Star-nose " the head is remarkably 
large ; the body is stout and short, 
and becomes narrower towards the 
tail, and the hind legs are conse- 
quently nearer to each other than 
the fore ones. The nose is rather 
thick, and projects beyond tha 
mouth. It is naked towards its 
end, is marked with a furrow above, 
and terminates in a flat surface, 
which is surrounded by seventeen 
cartilaginous processes, with two 
more anterior ones situated above 
the nostrils, and a pair of forked ones immediately 
below the nostrils. The surfaces of these processes 
are minutely granulated. Some white whiskers spring 
from the side of the nose, and reach about half the 
length of the head. There are others not so long on 
the upper and under lips. The fur on the body is 
very soft and fine, and has considerable lustre. It is 
longer than the fur of the other two known species. 
Its colour on the dorsal aspect is dark amber brown, 
approaching to blackish-brown. On the belly it is 
pale liver brown. When the fur is blown aside it 
exhibits a shining blackish-grey colour towards its 
roots. It is longer behind the head and on the neck, 
than on the belly. The tail is narrow at its origin ; 
but it suddenly swells to an inch and a half in cir- 
cumference. It then tapers gradually until it ends in 
a fine point, formed by a pencil of hairs about half an 
inch long. It is round, or very slightly compressed, 
and is covered with scales about as large as those on 
the feet, and with short, tapering, acute hairs which do 
not conceal the scales. The hairs covering the upper 
surface of the tail are nearly black ; those beneath are 
of a browner hue. The extremities are shaped almost 
precisely like those of C. longicaudata, only the 
palms and toes of the fore feet project beyond the 
body. The palms are nearly circular, and are pro- 
tected by a granulated skin, like shagreen. The sides 
of the feet are furnished with long white hairs which 
curve in over the palms. The five toes are very short, 
equal to each other in length, and, together with the 
back of the hands, are covered with hexagonal scales. 
The fore claws are white, nearly straight, broadly 
linear and acute, convex above and flat beneath. 
The palms turn obliquely outwards, which causes the 
fourth claw to project rather farthest; but the third 
one measures as much, the second is shorter, and the 
first and fifth are equal to each other, and a little 
shorter than the rest. The hind feet are also turned 
obliquely outwards, and are scaly, with a few interposed 
hairs above, and granulated underneath. The sides 
are narrow, and present a conspicuous callous tubercle 
pcsterior to the origin of the inner toe. The hind 
legs are very short, and are clothed with soft brown 
Vairs, a tuft of which curves over the heel. There 
are no hairs on the sides of the hind feet, like those 

which form a margin to the fore ones. The hind 
toes are longer than the fore ones, and are armed with 
more slender claws, which are white, awl-shaped, 
curved, and acute. They have a narrow groove towards 

The Common Star-nose (Condylura cristata). 

their point underneath." The length of the body, not 
including the tail, is four inches and a quarter. This 
minute and accurate account is taken from Sir John 
Richardson's description of a specimen captured on 
the banks of the river Columbia, and all the examples 
hitherto received have been brought from North 
American districts. Fig. 18. represents a very closely- 
allied form. The generic name Condylura was origin- 
ally given to these moles by the naturalist Illiger, who 
was misled by a figure which had been executed from 
a dried specimen, and consequently showed a knotted 
appearance of the tail. This irregularity of the tail 
unfortunately suggested to him the generic title now 
generally adopted ; but the term Rhinaster proposed 
by Wagler, would have been, scientifically speaking, 
more correct. 

THE LUSTROUS CAPE MOLE (Chrysochloris ca- 
pensis). The members of this small genus are also 
pretty closely allied to the true moles. They differ, 
however, in some respects, and among the most 
important distinctions are those which concern the 
skeleton and teeth. Following the authority of De 
Blainville, there appear to be twelve cutting teeth, six 
above and six below, the two central teeth of the 
lower jaw being very minute. Of the grinding series 
there are probably twenty- eight, six of which come 
under the category of false grinders or premolars, two 
of them being superior and four inferior. The true 
molars have the form of triangular prisms with trans- 
verse crowns, which in the lower set are divided by 
corresponding grooves. All the species have the eyes 
covered by the integument, while there is no appearance 
of an external ear. The muzzle is short and broad, ter- 
minating in a slightly pointed and projecting nose. The 
fore foot or hand is apparently tetradactylous ; but 
there are in reality five toes or fingers, the phalanges 
of the third and fourth fingers having coalesced to form 
a single gigantic digit. The latter is armed with a pro- 
digiously strong claw, which is broad and arcuated, 
forming a powerful weapon for digging and burrowing 
in the earth ; the fifth digit is particularly small and 
rudimentary. The hind feet are obviously pentadac- 
tylous, the several toes presenting the ordinary dimen- 
sions. The body is short and stout, and unprovided 
with a tail. The skeleton offers numerous points of 



interest. The skull exhibits a more conical form than 
obtains in the true moles. There are no less than 
nineteen pairs of ribs, whilst in one species as many as 
twenty have been counted. The sternum is provided 
with small concave lateral appendages ; the first rib is 
unusually broad ; the clavicles and the scapulae are 
long and thin. The humerus is comparatively longer 
than that of the common mole, and at the lower part 
it is not only articulated to the radius and ulna, but also 
to a third bone, specially developed to strengthen the 
arm during the action of burrowing. This strange 
supplementary osseous appendage is supposed to 
represent one of the carpal elements of the wrist ; be 
that as it may, the circumstance of these creatures' 
possessing a fore-arm consisting of three long bones, 
indicates an anatomical and morphological change 
altogether without precedent in this region of the 

mammiferous skeleton. The Lustrous Cape Mole or 

Chrysochlore Fig. 19 is not quite so long as the ' four canines, 

or, in other words, are non-fossorial. In some of the 
aberrant types we still recognize the peculiar talpine 
features, and so much so is this the case in the genus 
we shall here first elucidate, that it becomes almost a 
matter of indifference whether we class them as moles 
or shrews, or, on the other hand, altogether recognize 
them as a separate osculant group. 

THE SHREW MOLE (Scalops aquaticus}. This 
species, in common with others of the genus Scalops, 
presents a stout, thickset, cylindrical body, the limbs 
being remarkably short. The pentadactylous feet and 
hands very closely resemble those of the common mole, 
especially the latter, which are also situated close to 
the auditory opening. The head terminates anteriorly 
in a movable snout, which is naked at the tip. The 
teeth are probably forty-four in number, but a con- 
siderable difference of opinion exists on this point. 
According to Professor Owen there are twelve incisors, 

Fi-. 19. 

The Lustrous Cape Mole or Chrysochlore. 

common European mole. The fur is of a brownish 
colour, capable of reflecting irridescent hues of green 

ixteen false grinders, and twelve true 
molars ; half of these severally 
belonging to either jaw. The 
eyes are extremely small and 
concealed by the fur. The 
colour of the hair is, generally 
speaking, of a greyish-black, 
approaching to brown in some 
regions, especially on the fore- 
head, where it assumes a 
chestnut tinge. The length of 
the body is rather more than 
seven and a half inches, nol 
including the tail, which is 
short, annulated, and very 
thinly clothed with hair. The 
shrew-moles are inhabitants of 
the low grounds and marshy 
districts bordering on the river 
Columbia, and the adjacent 
coasts of the Pacific. Sir 
John Richardson speaking of 

their habits says, that they resemble our common 
European mole, " in leading a subterranean life, 

forming galleries, throwing up little mounds of earth, 
and in feeding principally on earthworms and grubs. 
Dr. Godman has given a detailed and interesting 

ind purple, which change to a copper or bronze tint ; 
and thus we have brought before us, in the language 
of Cuvier, " the only known quadruped which exhibits 

any appearance of that splendid metallic lustre which, j account of their manners, particularly of one which 
adorns so many birds, fishes, and insects." The species was domesticated by Mr. Titian Peale. He men- 
under consideration is found at the Cape of Good tions that they are most active, early in the morning, 
Hope, but other kinds are obtained from the same j at mid-day, and in the evening, and that they are 
locality, as well as from the neighbourhood of Mozam- well known in the com 



From a consideration of the moles we pass by a very 
natural transition to the Soricidse, which are more 
commonly known as the shrews, or shrew-mice. They 
have a very general resemblance to ordinary mice; 
but while the latter have their front teeth formed for 
gnawing vegetable structures, the former are entirely 

country to have the remarkable 
custom of coming daily to the surface exactly at noon. 
They may be taken alive by thrusting a spade beneath 
them and throwing them on the surface, but can 
scarcely be caught at any other period of the day. 
They burrow in a variety of soils, and in wet seasons 
are observed to retreat to the higher grounds. The 
captive one in possession of Mr. Peale ate considerable 
quantities of fresh meat, either cooked or raw, drank 
freely, and was remarkably lively and playful, following 
the hand of its feeder by the scent, burrowing for a 

insect-feeders, as in the case of the moles. The short distance in the loose earth, and, after making a 

typical Soricidse exhibit conspicuous eyes and ears, small circle, returning for more food. When engaged 

and the feet are not formed for burrowing in the soil, in eating he employed his flexible snout in a singular 

VOL. I. I 


manner to thrust the food into his mouth, doubling it 
so as to force it directly backwards." 

THE MUSK EAT (Mygale moschata). This ratber 
ugly-looking animal has few characters in common 
with the moles, unless we make exception in favour of 
the form of the body, the shortness of the limbs, and 
some other non-essential features. It possesses a 
long snout or proboscis which is very mobile, and 
usually more or less curved downwards. The eyes, 
though small, are comparatively distinct, while the 
short ears scarcely project beyond the fur. The 
arrangement of the teeth is somewhat peculiar, there 
being six incisors, four of which, that is, two above and 
two below, are very largely developed, and look like 
canines; of these, however, there are none. There are 
no less than thirty-eight grinders, twenty in the upper 
and eighteen in the lower jaw. The feet are pentadacty- 
lous, the digits being severally connected together by a 
membrane to facilitate locomotion in the water. The 
tail is about one-fourth shorter than the body, and 
compressed from side to side throughout, especially at 
the tip ; it is thinly haired, but very scaly, being also 
provided with numerous glandular follicles, arranged 
in double series along the under surface. These organs 
secrete a fatty matter or kind of pomatum giving out a 
peculiar musky odour. The fur presents a dusky- 
brown colour. The musk rat is very common in the 
r'rvers and lakes of southern Russia, and more particu- 
larly on the banks of the Volga. According to Mr. 
Ogilby, " it does not appear to have been seen on dry 
land, and, indeed, it is broadly asserted that it never 
goes there, but wanders from lake to lake in fortuitous 
Hoods only. It is often seen swimming or walking 
under the water, and coming for air to the surface, 
where, in clear weather, it is apt to sport. Stagnant 
waters, shut in by high banks, are its favourite locali- 
ties, and in such places it makes burrows some twenty 
feet in length. Its principal food is alleged to consist 
of fish, leeches, and the larvae of water insects; but 
fragments of roots have been found in its stomach. Its 
pace is slow; but it does not seem to be torpid in 
winter, at which season it is often taken in nets. The 
holes which it makes in cliffs and banks have the 
entrance far beneath the lowest level of the water, and 
the animal works upwards, never, however, nearing 
the surface more than sufficiently high to secure itself 
from the farthest rise of the river. Fish, as we have 
seen, form part of its food; but the quadruped in its 
turn falls a victim to the pikes and siluri, whose flesh 
becomes so impregnated with the flavour of musk in 
consequence, as not to be eatable." Formerly a very 
considerable trade was carried on at Orenberg for the 
sale of these animals' skins and tails, which, from their 
extraordinary abundance, only realized a sale at the 
rate of twenty copecs per hundred a sum equivalent 
to eightpence-three farthings, of English money. 

THE ELEPHANT MOUSE (Macroscelides typicus). 
This is perhaps the best known of the seven or eight 
species which constitute the members of the genus. 
Its name almost suggests a combination of the sublime 
and the ridiculous, for the only feature by which this 
liny creature in any measure resembles the huge 
pachyderm, lies in the circumstance of its possessing 

an elongated proboscis-like snout, at the extremity of 
which there are two oblique perforations representing 
the nostrils. The base of the snout supports numerous 
long stiff hairs or whiskers. In regard to the teeth, 
there are ten incisors, six above and four below, no 
true canines, and thirty-two molars, that is, fourteen in 
the upper and eighteen in the lower jaw The ears 
are large and thinly haired. The feet are pentadacty- 
lous and plantigrade, the digits corresponding to the 
thumbs in the fore-feet, and the great toes in the hind- 
feet being very short ; the claws are thin and strongly 
incurved. The fur has a tawny-brown colour, gradu- 
ally becoming whitish on the limbs. The length of 
the body is rather less than five inches, the tail being 
likewise three and a quarter inches long, a little 
swollen immediately beyond the root, and provided, in 
the males at least, with minute glandular follicles. 
This and some other species of so-called elephant mice 
live in south Africa. Their habits are diurnal, and 
they are frequently seen hunting for their prey amongst 
the roots of brushwood and bushes. On being dis- 
covered, however, their timidity soon shows itself, and 
they scamper off in hot haste , retreating either into 
their natural burrows, or beneath stones and similar 
places of security. 

THE SOLENODON (Solenodon paradoxus) . The 
distinguished naturalist Brandt has employed this title 
to designate a remarkable animal forming a sort of 
gigantic shrew. It is an inhabitant of the island of St. 
Domingo, is covered with coarse fur, and possesses 
very long whiskers. Each jaw is armed with six 
incisor teeth, the two central ones of the upper series 
being very large and triangular, while the pair next 
outside the central ones of the lower jaw are elon- 
gated, conical, and hollowed out at the inner surface 
by a deep groove. These two pair assume the aspect 
of very powerful canines, but the latter have in reality 
no true representatives. The molars are twenty-eight 
in number, that is, seven on either side of each jaw 
This singular creature is larger than our common 
brown rat, being upwards of twenty inches in length, 
including the naked or scaly tail, which measures nine 
inches. The eyes are small, the nose slightly pro- 
boscidiform, the ears also being only moderately 
developed. The sides of the head and neck, as well as 
the abdomen and feet, exhibit a faint yellow-browr 
colour, with an occasional mixture of a greyish tint. 

THE COMMON SHEEW (Sorex aranews). Plate 6, 
fig. 21. The genus Sorex comprehends an extremely 
numerous series of individuals, and it has therefore 
been variously subdivided by different naturalists. 
Without, however, expressing any opinion as to the 
propriety of their arrangements, our object is to impart 
a definite and accurate knowledge of the more impor- 
tant forms, under whatever names they may be clearly 
recognized. Even the species under consideration has 
caused much controversy, but it is now very generally 
understood that the common shrew-mouse of the 
British isles is correctly indicated by the above com- 
bined generic and specific title. Among the character- 
istics which distinguish this form we may especially 
refer to the teeth, of which there are probably ten 
incisors, though on this point there seems to be 



considerable difference of opinion. They are "much 
produced ; the upper ones curved and notched at the 
base, the lower ones almost horizontal." There are in 
all twenty-four molars or grinding teeth, but no true 
canines. The length of the body, not including the 
tail, is about two and a half inches. The fur exhibits 
a reddish tint on the back, which passes from the 
ordinary mouse-colour to a light-grey on the under 
surface of the belly. The snout is conical and pointed; 
the eyes and ears are small the latter being scarcely 
visible and furnished with two lobes internally. With 
regard to its habits Mr. Bell observes, that " the 
common shrew frequents dry situations, feeding upon 
insects and worms, in the pursuit of which its attenu- 
ated snout enables it to grub amongst the closest 
herbage, or under the surface of the soil; for which 
habits it is also adapted by its soft, short, velvety coat, 
and its extensible form. Like the mole and other 
insectivorous tribes, it is very impatient of hunger 
during summer ; like that animal too it is excessively 
pugnacious, so that it is rare to see two of them 
together excepting in the act of fighting. If two shrews 
be confined in a box together, a very short time elapses 
before the weaker is killed and partly devoured. They 
not only destroy each other, but there is reason to 
believe that many of them are victims to the voracity 
of the mole." A friend also informed him " that, in a 
field which had always before been abundantly 
inhabited by shrews, scarcely one had been seen during 
the then present season ; but that a colony of moles 
had occupied the district, to whose voracity he, with 
much probability, attributed the disappearance of the 
shrews." Touching the early history of this creature 
many curious superstitions were formerly held in 
this country respecting them ; but though, as we have 
recently taken occasion to show, these follies do still 
exist in regard to certain animals, we are inclined to 
believe that, so far at least as the shrews are concerned, 
they have almost entirely passed away. The childish 
notion that lameness of the foot or some grave disease 
could result from the mere accidental passage of a 
shrew over that part of the body of another animal 
was really credited, and, absurdly enough, induced our 
intellectual peasantry to prepare a ridiculous charm, 
which they swore to be an unfailing antidote against 
these imaginary injuries. This preparation was called 
shrew-ash, and a twig or fragment of it constituted the 
remedy. Tho modus operandi in the manufacture 
of this ash is thus described by Mr. Gilbert White : 
" At the south corner of the plestor or area, near the 
church, there stood about twenty years ago a very old, 
grotesque, hollow pollard-ash which, for years had 
been looked upon with no small veneration as a shrew- 
ash. Now a shrew-ash is an ash whose twigs or 
branches, when applied to the limbs of cattle, will 
immediately relieve the pains which a beast suffers 
from the running of a shrew-mouse over the part 
affected ; for it is supposed that the shrew-mouse is of 
so baneful and deleterious a nature that, whenever it 
creeps over a beast, be it horse, cow, or sheep, the 
suffering animal is afflicted with cruel anguish, and 
threatened with the loss of the use of the limb. 
Against this accident, to which they were continually 

liable, our provident forefathers always kept a shrew- 
ash at hand, which, when once medicated, would 
maintain its virtue for ever. A shrew-ash was made 
thus: Into the body of the tree a deep hole was bored 
with an auger, and a poor devoted shrew-mouse was 
thrust in alive, and plugged in, no doubt with several 
quaint incantations long since forgotten." Some other 
methods of cure were likewise had recourse to, but of 
these it is unnecessary to speak further. The shrew- 
mouse propagates very rapidly, the female bringing 
forth six or seven young ones at a birth. The nest 
is rudely constructed of grass and other vegetable 
materials, and is placed in superficial holes in the 
earth, especially amongst hedgebanks, the debris and 
snug recesses of which afford abundant security. An 
excess of these animals is wisely prevented by the 
agency of owls, moles, and weasels, and also, it would 
appear from the statements of several writers, by a 
special mortality which cuts them off by hundreds 
during the autumnal months. The immediate cause of 
this phenomenon yet remains to be explained. 

THE WATER SHREW (Sorex fodiens). This form 
is darker than the common shrew upon the back, and 
also, on the other hand, of a lighter colour beneath the 
belly, being in point of fact, quite white. The feet 
and tail are provided with conspicuous, but thinly set 
hairs. The ears and eyes are very small, the auricles 
being furnished with three internal lobes. It is also a 
somewhat stouter species, while, at the same time, it 
measures three and a quarter inches in length. The 
fur is very close, smooth, and downy a circumstance 
hich, together with an increased breadth of the feet, 
favours the development of its swimming propensities. 
Perhaps the best account of the habits of this pretty 
little animal, is that long ago recorded by Mr. Dovaston 
in the second volume of London's Magazine of Natural 
History. Speaking of the behaviour of one of these 
shrews, he says " It swam with great agility and free- 
dom, repeatedly gliding from the bank under water, 
and disappearing below the mass of leaves at the 
bottom, doubtless in search of its insect food. It 
very shortly returned and entered the bank, occasion- 
ally putting its long sharp nose out of the water, and 
paddling close to the edge. This it repeated at fre- 
quent intervals from place to place, seldom going more 
than two yards from the side, and always returning in 
about half a minute. Sometimes it would run a little 
on the surface, and sometimes timidly and hastily come 
ashore, but with the greatest caution, and instantly 
plunge in again." This species has a pretty wide dis- 
tribution throughout the British isles, being found in 
Devonshire, and also as far north as Scotland. The 
female brings forth six or seven young at a birth. 

THE OARED SHREW (Sorex remifer). This is a 
comparatively large species, and, like the two pre- 
ceding, indigenous to the islands of Great Britain. Its 
body is rather more than three inches long, the tail 
also being two-thirds of the entire length of the animal. 
The last-named organ has a quadrilateral shape. It is 
flattened towards the tip, being also provided with 
stoutish hairs along the under surface. The fur is of 
a rich black colour, except at the lower part of the 
belly, where, in some specimens at least, it is greyish- 



black, and also of a yellow tinge towards the region of 
the throat. The snout is compressed, the eyes and 
ears are small, the latter being bordered by a fringe of 
whitish-coloured hairs. The teeth exhibit a rusty or 
chestnut hue at their tips a peculiarity, however, not 
confined to any particular species. Like the water 
shrew, its habits are essentially aquatic. 

THE INDIAN SHEEW (Sorex indicus). Though in 
general appearance tin's species closely resembles the 
common shrew, the size at once distinguishes it, being 
in this respect equal to our common brown rat. In 
virtue of a very strong musky odour, it imparts a pecu- 
liarly nauseous smell to every thing with which it 
may happen to come in contact. Some of the stories 
told of its powers of communicating odoriferous pro- 
perties to particular objects, appear to be rather 
exaggerated. For example, we are informed that wine 
in a properly-closed bottle will become impregnated 
with a musky flavour, merely by the circumstance of 
this animal's passing over the exterior surface of the 
glass ! Surely this savours a little of the imaginative. 
At all events, the little beast enjoys an unenviable 
credit on this score. It is better known by the name 
of the Indian musk rat. 

THE AMERICAN MAESH SHBEW (Sorex palustris) . 
This species is principally marked by the possession 
of an unusually long tail, combined with very short 
hairy ears which lie entirely concealed beneath the 
fur. The hairy covering exhibits a hoary black colour, 
except on the belly, where it is lighter and of an ash^ 
grey tint, the texture throughout beirjg dense, soft, and 
lustrous. The teeth are thirty in number; that is, 
four incisors and twenty-six molars. Sir John Rich- 
ardson was the first to describe this shrew, and he 
obtained several specimens in British America during 
his explorations with the expedition under Sir John 
Franklin. With regard to its habits, he says that it 
" lives in the summer on similar food with the water 
shrew, but," he adds, " I am at a loss to imagine how it 
procures a subsistence during the six months of the 
year in which the countries it inhabits are covered 
with snow. It frequents the borders of lakes, and 
Hearne tells us that it often takes up its abode in beaver 
houses." The length of the body, not including the 
tail, is precisely three and a half inches. 

FOESTEB'S SHEEW (Sorex Forsten) The shrew 
thus named appears to have been first noticed by For- 
ster, and described by him in the sixty-second volume 
of the Philosophical Transactions. It resembles the 
oared shrew in respect of the quadrangular form of the 
tail, and in some other minor particulars. The length 
of the body is about two and a quarter inches. It is 
armed with thirty-two teeth, four being incisors and ; 
the remainder true and false molars. The snout is j 
much attenuated ; the whiskers are conspicuous, and j 
the ears completely enveloped by the fur. The author | 
of the "Fauna Boreali Americani," speaks of it as fol- j 
lows : " This little animal is common throughout the ! 
whole of the fur countries to the sixty-seventh degree . 
of latitude, and its minute foot-prints are seen every- j 
where in the winter when the snow is sufficiently fine 
to retain the impression. I have often traced its 
pathway to a stalk of grass by which it appears to 

descend from the surface of the snow ; but a search 
for its habitation by removing the snow was invariably 
fruitless. I was unable to procure a recent specimen.'' 
And further on he says "It is the smallest quadruped 
the Indians are acquainted with, and they preserve 
skins of it in their conjuring bags. The power of 
generating heat must be very great in this diminutive 
creature, to preserve its tender limbs from freezing 
when the temperature sinks forty or fifty degrees below 

SAVTS SHEEW (Sorex etruscus). To the general 
observer of nature, the distinctions established between 
the numerous species of shrew may not at first sight 
appear very satisfactory, and it is partly on this account 
that we find it necessary to confine our attention to the 
more striking or better known forms. There is a little 
North American form, emphatically called the small 
shrew-mouse the Sorex parvus of Say and Richard 
son which is only two inches and three-quarters in 
length; but this specific title might perhaps with greater 
propriety be applied to the species under consideration ; 
for Savi's shrew js not only believed to be the smallest 
in existence, but it is probably the tiniest of all 
living quadrupeds, excepting, of course, those which 
have not attained their adult or fully developed state. 
The body of Say's small shrew measures two inches 
and three-quarters, without reckoning the tail ; whereas 
the little Sorex etruscus scarcely exceeds two inches 
and a half, two entire fifths of which measurement 
belong to the caudal appendage. It is an inhabitant 
of Italy and the northern coasts of Africa. Notwith- 
standing what we have here advanced, it will doubtless 
occur to our readers that some of the bats scarcely 
exceed this animal in length ; although, if placed side 
by side with the pipistrelle, this bat would appear in 
all likelihood comparatively bulky. 

THE BTJLATJ (Gymnura Rafflesii). The members 
of this and the two following genera offer such pecu- 
liarities as scarcely to entitle us to classify them with 
the Soricidse, properly so called ; and on the one hand, 
they neither sufficiently agree in their respective char- 
acters, so as to enable our associating them together 
under a separate family title, nor, on the other, are 
they clearly referable to the Tupaiadce ; yet, as they 
exhibit characters of a very mixed kind, we cannot at 
present, perhaps, do better than briefly record them 
in the order here adopted. The head of the bulau is 
much elongated and compressed from side to side, the 
muzzle being proboscidiform, obtuse at the tip, and 
continued forward a considerable distance beyond the 
lower jaw. The eyes are rather small, and the ears 
rounded, conspicuous, and naked. The bod} 7 is stoutish 
posteriorly, and terminates in a long, smooth, scaly 
tail which supports a few thinly scattered hairs. 
The mass of the fur is soft ; but from beneath this 
downy covering there projects a multitude of long 
harsh, bristle-like hairs, which are particularly numer- 
ous along the back. The lirnbs are well developed, 
and terminate in plantigrade pentadactylous feet, having 
the three middle toes longer than the other digits. 
The jaws are armed with forty-four teeth, which Pro- 
fessor Owen has divided into twelve incisives, four 
canines, sixteen false, and twelve true molars. They 


are equally distributed above and below. It is also 
worthy of remark, that the skeleton displays fifteen 
pairs of ribs and five lumbar vertebrae. In external 
form this animal approaches the American marsupials; 
but little or nothing is known of its habits. 

THE RHYNCHOCYON (Rhynchocyon etVnez). The 
eminent naturalist Peters has given this name to an 
extremely rare and very curious animal, discovered by 
him during his travels in the Mozambique. In certain 
particulars it resembles the bulau; but its snout is very 
much more prolonged, forming a conspicuous proboscis. 
The ears are moderately developed ; but the eyes are 
comparatively large. The jaws are furnished with 
thirty -six teeth, somewhat irregularly disposed, there 
being only two incisors above while there are six below ; 
and of the twenty-eight molars, the anterior pair in 
the upper series are sufficiently elongated to be at 
first sight mistaken for canines. The feet are planti- 
grade, tetradactylous, and armed with strong claws, 
the outer toe of the fore-feet being widely separated 
from the others. As in the preceding species, the 
hind feet are longer than the front ones. The tail 
is considerably developed, annulated, and sparingly 
clothed with hair. 

THE HYLOMYS (Hylomys suillus).~M. Salomon 
Miiller employs this name to designate a small and 
rare animal inhabiting the islands of Sumatra and 
Java, and living at a height of from twelve hundred to 
two thousand feet above the level of the sea. In the 
form of the skull and other cranial peculiarities, it 
appears to approach the members of the succeeding 
family ; but the back of the orbit is not closed in by a 
bony ring, such as is found in that remarkable group. 
The teeth are forty-four in number ; that is, twelve 
incisors, and thirty-two molars. The snout is pro- 
longed forwards into a movable proboscis, which is 
directed a little downwards at the tip, where the 
nostrils are laterally disposed. The eyes are not 
large ; but the ears are conspicuous, and thinly pro- 
vided with hair. As in the bulau, the feet are penta- 
dactylous, the three central digits being paramount, 
and the hind feet longer than the fore ones, the claws 
being sharp and strongly curved. The tail is particu- 
larly short, and but thinly clothed with hair. Very 
little is known respecting its habits. The teeth, bow- 
ever, indicate its insectivorous propensities. 


The Tupaias are here collected into a separate group, 
chiefly on account of several well-marked anatomical 
peculiarities. The most important of these consists in 
the presence of an osseous ring completing the posterior 
part of the orbit, and entirely circumscribing that 
cavity. In all other species of the order Insectivora, 
a communication exists between the orbits and the 
spaces occupied by the temporal muscles which act 
upon the lower jaw. In this, and in some other fea- 
tures, we observe a structural and morphological 
approach towards the insectivorous monkeys. Through- 
out the family we have an elongated head, which is 
very much narrowed towards the pointed muzzle, and 
at the extremity of this snout the semilunar nostrils 

are placed sideways. The ears and eyes are largely 
developed, the latter projecting sufficiently to enable 
the animals to see backwards almost in a straight line. 
The body is long and narrow, but provided with toler- 
ably strong limbs, terminating in plantigrade, five-toed 
feet, the digits being armed with sharply-curved claws. 
All the species at present known are inhabitants of the 
Sunda islands, while some few have been found in 
Pegu and on the shores of the Indian peninsula. 
Their habits are diurnal and active, and from this 
circumstance they have always been associated with 
the squirrels by the native Malays. 

This species was first familiarly made known to natu- 
ralists by Dr. Horsfield, who during his travels in Java, 
in the year 1806, discovered numerous examples in 
the thickly- wooded forests of the province of Blam- 
bangan. The body being slender and compact is 
eminently fitted for active pursuits. The limbs are 
gracefully formed, imparting to the creature an easy 
and attractive appearance. The five-toed feet ter- 
minate in compressed and strongly-curved claws, 
which are firmly implanted into the somewhat swollen 
tips of the several digits. The tail forms a very con- 
spicuous organ. It is fully as long as the body, having 
an almost uniform thickness from root to tip, and is 
clothed with regularly arranged hairs spreading out 
like those of the squirrel, but in a more limited degree. 
The fur consists, for the most part, of fine straight 
hairs closely applied to the skin ; the back, neck, sides, 
and limbs being provided with a few longer, stouter, 
and darker-coloured hairs. The colour is of a greyish- 
brown, varying considerably at different spots, being 
lighter underneath the throat, chest, and belly. The 
head is narrowed anteriorly, and the eyes are particu- 
larly prominent. The bangsring and its allies appear 
to be very easily tamed ; for a specimen of this 
genus which came under the notice of Sir Stam- 
ford Raffles, behaved itself like a pet spaniel, freely 
partaking of fruits and milk at the breakfast and 
dinner table, and scampering through the house with 
evident satisfaction. 


The hedgehogs are readily recognized by their 
peculiar spinous integument and the remarkable power 
possessed by the more typical forms of rolling them- 
selves up into a ball. This function is accomplished 
by the agency of a special development of the sub- 
cutaneous muscular bands, which are more or less 
developed in all the mammalia, forming in scientific 
nomenclature the muscular mass termed the panniculus 
carnosus. It is of such strength in these creatures, 
that in their doubled-up state they are capable of 
resisting almost any force which their enemies employ 
to unroll them, while the points of the setae or spinous 
bristles inflict severe wounds upon the aggressors. In 
other respects the hedgehogs exhibit a general con- 
formity to the insectivorous type. The muzzle is 
pointed, and prolonged beyond the lower jaw. The 
eyes and ears are tolerably conspicuous; the latter, 
however, are rather short. The feet are pentadae- 




tylous and armed with powerful claws ; but the anterior 
pair are not specially modified for the purposes of 
burrowing like the moles. The tail is either very 
short or altogether absent. 

THE TENEEC (Centenes setosus.)This animal dif- 
fers from the ordinary hedgehogs both in respect of 
certain structural modifications, and also in the circum- 
stance of its not being able to fold itself up into a ball ; 
at least, its powers in this particular are extremely 
limited. The skin along the back is armed with a 
mixture of slender spines and bristles, and the body 
terminates abruptly behind without any trace of a tail. 
Some difference of opinion exists in regard to its den- 
titioo, owing, perhaps, to the fact that many of the 
specimens examined were quite young. In the adult 
state there are probably twelve incisors, four canines, 
twelve false and also twelve true molars that is, forty 
teeth in all, equally divided between the two jaws, the 
canines being large and of a conical shape. The 
muzzle is much attenuated and proboscidiform. The 
tenrec is a native of the island of Madagascar ; it is 
possessed of nocturnal habits, and passes three months 
of the year in a state of hybernation. According to 
the statements of Brugiere, the torpidity occurs during 
the period of greatest heat. 

THE SOKINAH (Echinops Telfain). Under this 
title Mr. W. C. L. Martin has described, in the second 
volume of the Transactions of the Zoological Society 
of London, a kind of hedgehog which, like the forego- 
ing, is an inhabitant of Madagascar. This animal is 
chiefly distinguished by the peculiarities of its den- 
tition. It possesses ten incisors, four only of these 
occupying the upper jaw, the anterior pair being 
strongly developed and placed somewhat in front of 
the others ; there appear to be four canines and but 
twenty-four molars that is, five on each side of the 
upper, and seven on either side of the lower jaw ; the 
crowns of the r.pper molar series are longitudinally 
grooved. Notwithstanding this dental arrangement, 
the sokinah cannot be said to differ very materially 
from the hedgehogs properly so called. 

THE COMMON HEDGEHOG (Erinaceus europceus) 
Plate 6, fig. 20. Most persons are familiar with this 
bristly urchin. All who have dwelt amid rural scenes 
or wandered along grassy hedgerows, have surely come 
in contact with our thorny friend. Yes! we shall 
deign to consider him a friendly individual, notwith- 
standing that he turns his back upon us and displays a 
cheveux de frise of little bayonets pointing in every 
conceivable direction. " Stay !" remarks one of my 
readers, " he is an enemy ! To my certain knowledge, 
he has the credit of pilfering milk direct from the cow ; 
he is a notorious stealer of apples and pears ; he is an 
unsparing egg-poacher; and, moreover which to my 
mind is the most cogent argument against him he is a 
nasty, dirty little beast for, as old Pliny observes, he 
sprinkles himself all over with urine, for the express 
purpose of disgusting alike his tormentors and admirers, 
thereby necessitating a respectful distance ! What do 
you say to that, Sir ; will you still call him a friend?" 
Patience ! impetuous reader, and you shall have my 
answer to your hypercritical censures upon this com- 
paratively harmless animal. In the first place, with 

regard to the asseverations of the ancient historian of 
nature, they may safely be regarded, as the gratuitous 
offspring of a fertile imagination, having, in point of 
fact, no other foundation than such as I have myself 
witnessed namely, an involuntary expulsion of the 
fluid secretion on the part of the animal itself, when 
suddenly and violently alarmed. Secondly, in regard 
to the milking propensities, no one has ever yet 
witnessed the animal's indulgence of this refreshing 
experiment. Thirdly, with respect to his alleged carpo- 
logical thefts, the body is but ill-adapted for climbing 
fruit-trees, though I admit, in a time of famine, he will 
not refuse apples and pears which have accidentally 
fallen to the ground ; but the story to which you allude 
bears on its face the very stamp of absurdity, seeing it 
would have us believe that he not only ascends the 
tree, but, in the doubled-up state, voluntarily throws 
himself from the branches with sufficient precision 
to alight on the fallen fruits; these, in consequence, 
adhere to his skin, and, having unrolled himself, he 
hurries off with the desired booty upon his back ! 
Fourthly, while I grant there is strong evidence of his 
being a poacher, you must bear in mind, before hastily 
pronouncing him to be a worthless character, that he 
only resorts to fowls' and pheasants' eggs when the 
supply of mice, snails, slugs, worms, and various 
insects, fail to satisfy his legitimate demands. On the 
whole, therefore, will you not be disposed to regard 
the hedgehog as an erring creature which does more 
good than harm? Let me direct your attention to 
its organization. On closely contemplating the struc- 
ture o.f the hedgehog, we cannot fail to be struck with 
the marvellous adaptations provided for its comfort 
and security. " Deprived," says Mr. Bell, in his 
admirable history of British quadrupeds, " of all means 
of attacking its enemies, of defending itself by force, or 
of seeking safety in flight, this harmless animal is yet 
endowed with a safeguard more secure and effectual 
than the teeth and claws of the wild cat or the fleetness 
of the bare. Its close covering of sharp spines, which 
are hard without brittleness, sufficiently elastic to bear 
great violence without breaking, and fixed with aston- 
ishing firmness in the tough leathery skin, forms not 
only a solid shield to protect it from the effects of 
blows or falls, but a shirt of prickly mail sufficiently 
sharp and annoying to deter all but a few thorough- 
bred dogs, or a half-starved fox, from venturing to 
attack it. Immediately it is touched, or when it 
sees danger approaching, it rolls itself up into a com- 
pact round ball, by the contraction of the powerful 
muscles which cover the body immediately under the 
skin, and presents this impenetrable panoply, beset by 
innumerable spines standing out in every direction: 
and the more it is irritated or alarmed, the more firmlv 
it contracts, and the more strongly and stiffly the 
spines are set. The strength and elasticity of this 
covering is such, that I have repeatedly seen a domes- 
ticated hedgehog in my own possession run towards 
the precipitous wall of an area, and, without hesitation, 
without a moment's pause of preparation, throw itself 
off, and, contracting at the same instant into a ball, in 
which condition it reached the ground from a height 
of twelve or fourteen feet, after a few moments it 



would unfold itself and nm off unhurt." This last- 
mentioned phenomenon appears to give some clue to 
the ridiculous story of the hedgehog's voluntary falls 
from the branches of fruit-trees ; at all events, the cir- 
cumstance illustrates the well-known remark, that all 
widely-spread notions, however false and egregious, 
have their origin in some misinterpreted fact or other 
element of truth. Hedgehogs are readily tamed, and 
are, we believe, still kept by a few persons to eat up 
cockroaches and other noxious insects which infest our 
houses. Some aver that the flesh is good eating, but 
others dispute its merits in this respect; gipsies, at any 
rate, will cook and eat them. Without entering into 
a lengthened description, we may remark that a full- 
grown example measures about nine and a half inches, 

not including the rudimentary tail, which is only three- 
quarters of an inch long. The jaws are armed with 
thirty-six teeth that is, eight incisors, six above and 
two below, and twenty-eight molars. The ears are 
short and oval, the eyes being bright and distinct. 
At the lower part of the body the spines degenerate, as 
it were, into mere bristles and stout hairs. The 
animal's habits are essentially nocturnal, and during 
the winter it remains in a torpid state, hybernating in 
the hollows of decayed trees and similar secure retreats. 
The nest is carefully constructed and rain-proof. In 
the early part of the summer the female produces from 
two to four young ones at a birth, their skin being 
covered with soft white elastic bristles, which in a very 
few days assume the ordinary hard epinous character. 


IN the arrangement of Cuvier, this eminently carni- 
vorous group of animals constitutes the third family of 
those unguiculated mammals, which he associated 
together under the common title of Carnassiers. It is 
in these Carnivora, properly so called, that we observe 
the highest development of physical force combined 
with a purely zoophagous appetite. If, for example, 
we examine the skeleton of a lion, we shall find its 
mechanism specially adapted for the purposes of active 
pursuit, and for the employment of overbearing 
strength (Plate 33, fig. 105). The skull is short, broad, 
and massive, the hind part supporting at the vertex a 
longitudinal ridge or crest. The object of this median 
elevation is to afford attachment to the powerful tem- 
poral muscles which act upon and are inserted into the 
base of the lower jaw. The several bones of the face, 
and consequently those of the jaw, bear a remarkable 
contrast to the same osseous elements in the order 
previously considered ; for, whereas in the latter we 
invariably notice a more or less marked attenuation 
towards the snout, in the lion and other typical Carni- 
vora we find the facial bones terminating abruptly in 
a broad and short muazle. The orbital fossae are spa- 
cious, in order to accommodate the largely-developed 
eyes. That part of the temporal bone immediately 
connected with the function of hearing, is remarkably 
developed for the purpose of exaggerating the power 
of appreciating the most delicate sonorous vibrations 
a circumstance obviously connected with the animal's 
nocturnal habits. From the internal surface of the 
occipital and parietal bones a peculiar shelf-like osseous 
plate projects, so as to divide the cerebral cavity into 
two or more parts ; in the living state these osseous 
laminae occupy the narrow interspaces between the 
principal divisions of the brain, and they are evidently 
intended to protect the great nervous centre from 
injury, during the violent and oft-repeated shocks to 
which the animal's habits necessarily expose it. The 
prodigiously strong jaws are armed with thirty teeth, 
twelve of these being well-developed incisors, six 
above and the same number below ; the four canines 
are long and stout, having almost the appearance of 

' tusks, while the majority of the molars are trenchant 
or cutting, two only being tuberculated, and these 
belonging to the upper series. In other Carnivora we 
find a larger number of tuberculated molars ; and so 
uniformly is the balance of structure and function 
marked by this peculiarity, that the degree of tubercu- 
lation on the one hand, and of sharpness on the other, 
affords a very accurate indication as to the amount of 
carnivority possessed by any one particular species. 
According to Professor Owen, only four of the fourteen 
molars are true, the other ten being what are termed 
spurious, false, or pre-molars. The vertebral column 
of the lion is amazingly strong, yet, at the same time, 
very flexible; this combination of strength and elasticity 
being particularly well seen in the bones of the neck, 
where the first two segments, termed the atlas and 
dentata, are remarkably enlarged, the transvere pro- 
cesses of the former and the spinous process of the 
latter also affording admirable support and attachment 
to those muscles which act upon the occiput. There 
are thirteen ribs, but the number varies in different 
genera. The skeletal elements of the fore-limbs dis- 
play evidence of great power. The scapula or 
shoulder-blade, is particularly broad ; the upper end of 
the humerus, or arm-bone, R, is specially enlarged to 
give insertion to the strong muscles of the shoulder ; 
the radius, s, and the ulna, T, together with the bones 
of the carpus, u, and metacarpus, v, are likewise cor- 
respondingly stout and powerful. In the lion and 
other digitigrade Carnivora that is, those which walk 
on the tips of their toes the ultimate digital phalanges, 
w, are curiously modified for the support and protec- 
tion of their terrible claws. The extremity of each 
phalanx is invested by the hooked nail, the base being 
also deeply grooved and hollowed out for the lodge- 
ment and fixation of its root. With regard to the 
posterior pair of limbs, the femora, H, tibise, I, and 
fibulas, K, do not exhibit any more remarkable features 
than those referable to an increased power ; the calca- 
neum or heel-bone, L, is bulky, and with the metatar- 
sals, M, directed vertically upwards. This arrangement 
facilitates the actions of springing and leaping. Tlie 


digital phalanges, N, closely resemble those of the 
fore-feet. Such is a brief sketch of the more striking j 
peculiarities seen in the skeleton of the lion, these 
characters being for the most part shared by all the 
more typical members of the order. The variations 
that occur in aberrant forms will be alluded to in the 
general remarks given at the head of each separate 


The bears differ from the more typical Carnivora in 
several very important particulars. In the first place, 
they are plantigrade, applying the entire sole of the 
foot to the ground during progression ; and in this 
respect, as well as in the circumstance of their noctur- 
nal habits, associated with a comparative slowness of 
pace, we perceive a close alliance with the Inseclivora. 
In the construction of the skeleton also, we find the 
bones less robust, while their mode of inter-articulation 
does not admit of the same degree of easy mobility 
which obtains in the cats. The elongation of the skull 
contrasts strongly with the short, massive cranium of 
the lion and tiger. The bears, properly so-called, 
usually carry forty-two teeth, twelve being incisive, 
four canine, sixteen spurious, and ten true molars ; 
eight of the latter that is, two on either side of each j 

jaw are tnberculated. The snout is prolonged and 
abrupt at the tip ; it contains internally a movable 
cartilage. The ears are short, rounded, and erect. 
The tail is inconspicuous or feebly developed. Differ- 
ent members of the family are severally found inhabit- 
ing various parts of the globe. Their food is of a 
mixed character, scarcely anything being refused, 
whether animal or vegetable ; this corresponds with 
the dentition, which, as we have seen, is even more 
frugivorous than carnivorous. The majority of the 
species are stout, thickset animals, and when attacked 
or excited, they frequently assume an upright attitude, 
fighting and striking with their powerful hands. They 
pass the winter in a semi-torpid half-starving condition, 
retreating for this purpose into dens and holes which 
they have excavated among the rocks. Fossil remains 
of bears have been found in the newest tertiary or 
pleistocene deposits, and in caverns referable to the 
subsequent glacial period. Among the several extinct 
forms at present known, the Great Cavern Bear (Ursus 
spelccus) appears to have been the largest, being 
probably about one-fifth more bulky than any species 
now living. Caverns containing these remains occur 
in England, at Kent's Hole near Torquay, in Devon- 
shire; also in Essex, Norfolk, Yorkshire, andCambridge- 
shire ; as well as in various parts of Germany , Italy, 
and the south of France. 

Fig. 20. 

The Kate! (.iJellivora 

THE BATEL (Mellivora capertsis). Following out 
Cuvier's arrangement as far as possible, we place this 
interesting animal among the bears ; yet, at the same 
time, we are fully aware that not only the ratel, but 
also several of the succeeding forms, exhibit, in a 
structural point of view, many important features in 
common with the Mustelidse. On scientific grounds 
a distinct group might be formed, osculant between 
the two families ; these refinements, however, as well 
as the more complicated classifications of some recent 
natural history authorities, would ill serve our present 

purpose. The ratel (fig. 20) is an Inhabitant of the 
Cape of Good Hope and the region of the Mozambique. 
The body is about three feet in length, including the 
tail, which measures at least six inches; its height 
from the ground is scarcely one foot. The skin is 
very dense, the fur consisting of long, stiff, wiry hairs 
which are greyish above, inclining to white on the 
head, but very dark or black on the belly ; a white 
line or stripe separates these two colours. The head 
is smooth, short, and stout, with an abrupt muzzle , 
the auricles are small or rudimentary, being repre- 



sented only by a slight elevation of the integument 
round the auditory opening. The teeth are thirty-two 
in number that is, twelve incisive, four canine, a 
dozen spurious molars, and four true ones ; none of 
these so-called grinding teeth are tuberculated, and 
this peculiarity alone constitutes a distinctive character. 
The limbs are short, terminating in semi-plantigrade 
pentadactylous feet, the digits of which are furnished 
with very powerful claws, and are admirably adapted 
for the purposes of burrowing. The ratel by this 
means grubs up the nests of wild bees, and is led to 
their haunts by watching the behaviour and return of 
these insects at evening-time. He is said also, like the 
native Hottentots, to listen to the note of the Honey 
Guide Cuckoo, which indicates the spot where the 
desired treasure is to be found. According to Peters, 
it also feeds on birds, rats, and snakes, a statement 
which entirely coincides with the opinion formed by 
a distinguished naturalist who, from a careful exami- 
nation of the dentition, was led to express the follow- 
ing sentiments: "It requires," observes Mr. Bennett, 
" the most positive evidence to convince us that an 
animal, the number and disposition of whose teeth cor- 
respond more closely with those of the cat than any 
other animal with which we are acquainted, and 
exhibit a carnivorous character scarcely, if at all, 
inferior to that which is evidenced by the same organ 
in the hyaenas, should subsist entirely, as from these 
accounts we are led to believe, upon the petty rapine 
of a hive of bees and the honied produce of their comb. 
Still there exist such decisive marks of a diminished 
capacity for preying on animal food, in the thickset 
and clumsy form of its body, the shortness of its limbs, 
its parti ally -plantigrade walk, the structure of its 
muzzle, and even in the form of the teeth themselves, 
as to induce us to pause before we determine to reject 
the popular testimony as unworthy of credit, although 
we must regard it as doubtful on some particular 
points, and insufficient and imperfect on the whole." 
Messrs. Shaw and Hardwicke have described, in the 
Transactions of the Linnaean Society, another species of 
ratel (Mellivora indica] inhabiting the upper regions of 
the Indian peninsula. The tail of this form is shorter, 
and there is no appearance of the characteristic white 
band above mentioned. 

As before remarked, we do not now discuss the nicely- 
balanced question as to whether the genera here allied 
together would be more appropriately placed among the 
weasels or cats. No injury is done to the harmony 
of zoological sequence by placing these animals side 
by side with the typical forms of the great ursine group, 
provided it is understood that we only employ the 
family title in its most comprehensive signification. 
The wolverene (Plate 2, fig. 36) is about the size of the 
common badger, and measures two and a half feet in 
length, not including the thick bushy tail, which is 
rather more than -half a foot in length, the terminal 
hairs reaching four or five inches further. The body 
is strongly arched, especially along the back. The 
head is broad and pointed at the muzzle, the ears being 
short, rounded, and partly concealed by the fur. The 
jaws are provided with thirty-eight teeth there being 

twelve incisors, four canines, sixteen false and six true 
molars, four of the latter belonging to the lower jaw. 
The limbs are short, and terminate in semi-plantigrade 
five-toed feet, the digits of which are furnished with 
powerful sharp claws. The fur exhibits a dark maroon 
or reddish-brown colour, becoming almost black as 
winter sets in ; on either side a light reddish band, 
inclining to white, extends from the shoulder to the 
hip, but it is more conspicuous in some individuals 
than in others. The hair of the tail is black, the under 
part of the throat and chest being more or less marked 
with pale whitish streaks. In regard to the gluttonous 
habits of this animal, perhaps no creature has had 
its digestive capacities more wantonly exaggerated ; 
and in these days it is well that our records of the 
instincts and habits of various creatures should be 
marked by the enunciations of sober truth, and the 
distinctions between fact and mere fiction sedulously 
maintained. The legendary tales of Ysbrandt, Olaus 
Magnus, Buffon, and many others, in which the fero- 
city, cunning, and voracity of the glutton are duly set 
forth, have too often been accepted as embodying 
actual truths. But by far the best account yet given 
of this animal is that by Sir John Richardson, who 
thus fairly estimates his stomachal powers and cunning 
propensities : " The wolverene is a carnivorous ani- 
mal, which feeds chiefly upon the carcasses of beasts 
that have been killed by accident. It has great 
strength, and annoys the natives by destroying their 
hoards of provisions and demolishing their marten 
traps. It is so suspicious that it will rarely enter a 
trap itself, but, beginning behind, scatters the logs of 
which it is built, and then carries off the bait. It feeds 
also on meadow-mice, marmots, and other Rodentia, 
and occasionally on other disabled quadrupeds of a 
larger size. I have seen one chasing an American 
hare, which was at the same time harassed by a snowy 
owl. It resembles the bear in its gait, and is not fleet ; 
but it is very industrious, and no doubt feeds well, as 
it is generally fat. It is much abroad in the winter, 
and the track of its journey in a single night may be 
traced for many miles. From the shortness of its legs, 
it makes its way through loose snow with difficulty, 
but when it falls upon the beaten track of a marten- 
trapper it will pursue it for a long way. Mr. Graham 
observes that the ' wolverenes are extremely mischiev- 
ous, and do more damage to the small fur trade than 
all the other rapacious animals conjointly. They will 
follow the marten-hunter's path round a line of traps 
extending forty, fifty, or sixty miles, and render the 
whole unserviceable, merely to come at the baits, 
which are generally the head of a partridge or a bit of 
dried venison. They are not fond of the martens 
themselves, but never fail of tearing them in pieces or 
of burying them in the snow by the side of the path, 
at a considerable distance from the trap. Drifts of 
snow often conceal the repositories thus made of the 
martens from the hunter, in which case they furnish a 
regale to the hungry fox, whose sagacious nostril unerr- 
ingly guides him to the spot. Two or three foxes are 
often seen following the wolverene for this purpose.' 
The wolverene is said to be a great destroyer of 
beavers, but it mu&t be only in the summer when those 



industrious animals are at work on laud, that it can sur- 
prise them. An attempt to break open their house in 
the winter, even supposing it possible for the claws of 
a wolverene to penetrate the thick mud walls when 
frozen as hard as stone, would only have the effect of 
driving the beavers into the water to seek for shelter 
in their vaults on the borders of the dam. The wolve- 
rene, although it is reported to defend itself with bold- 
ness and success against the attack of other quadrupeds, 
Hies from the face of man, and makes but a poor fight 
with a hunter, who requires no other arms than a stick 
to kill it" The geographical distribution of the wolve- 
rene is co-extensive with the length and breadth of the 
colder regions of the great North American continent, 
indications of its presence having been found as far 
north as Melville Island. The female produces from 
two to four young ones at a birth, which are clothed 
with a soft light cream-coloured fur. 

THE AMERICAN BADGER (Mdes labradoria). 
This animal is also recognized by the names of the 
Brairo and Taxel. Mr. Waterhouse and others sepa- 
rate it from the badgers, properly so called ; but, as it 
is closely allied to them in all essential particulars, we 
prefer to retain the above title. The dental elements 
correspond numerically with those of the common 
badger, but their carnivorous character is more 
marked, although the grinding surfaces of the molars 
are remarkably flat and even. The length and bulk 
of the body is similar to that of the glutton. The 
head is broad, and truncated posteriorly. The ears 
are short and round, the internal auditory bullte being 
largely developed. The fur is coarse and short on the 
head and limbs, but everywhere else it is beautifully 
tine and silky, the individual hairs measuring several 
inches in length. Near the skin, the hair exhibits a 
purplish-brown colour; the free ends, however, are 
white, producing a pretty mottled grey appearance. 
A white band extends from the muzzle over the head 
along the middle line, gradually disappearing toward 
the shoulders. The limbs are stoutish, the fore-feet 
being furnished with strong light-coloured claws, which 
are longer than those of the common badger. In 
regard to its habits and geographical distribution, Sir 
John Richardson states that it "frequents the sandy 
plains or prairies which skirt the Rocky Mountains as 
far north as the banks of the Peace river, and sources 
of the River of the Mountains in latitude 58. It 
abounds on the plains watered by the Missouri, but its 
exact southern range has not, as far as I know, been 
defined by any traveller. The sandy prairies in the 
neighbourhood of Carlton House, on the banks of the 
Sasketchewan, and also on the Red river that flows 
into Lake Winipeg, are perforated by innumerable 
badger-holes, which are a great annoyance to horse- 
men, particularly when the ground is covered with 
snow. These holes are partly dug by the badgers for 
habitations, but the greater number of them are merely 
enlargements of the burrows of the Arctomys Hoodii 
and Richardsonii, which the badgers dig up and prey 
upon. Whilst the ground is covered with snow, the 
badger rarely or never comes from its hole, and I sup- 
pose that in that climate it passes the winter from the 
beginning of November to April in a torpid state. 

Indeed, as it obtains the small animals on which it 
feeds by surprising them in their burrows, it has little 
chance of digging them out at a time when the ground 
is frozen into a solid rock. Like the bears, the badgers 
do not lose much flesh during their long hybernation ; 
for, on coming abroad in the spring, they are observed 
to be very fat. As they pair, however, at that season, 
they soon become lean. This badger is a slow and 
timid animal, taking to the first earth it comes to when 
pursued ; and as it makes its way through the sandy 
soil with the rapidity of a mole, it soon places itseli 
out of the reach of danger. The strength of its fore- 
feet and claws is so great, that one which had insinu- 
ated only its head and shoulders into a hole, resisted 
the utmost efforts of two stout young men who endea- 
voured to drag it out by the hind legs and tail, until 
one of them fired the contents of his fowling-piece into 
its body. Early in the spring, however, when they 
first begin to stir abroad, they may be easily caught by 
pouring water into their holes ; for, the ground being 
frozen at that period, the water does not escape 
through the sand, but soon fills the hole, and its tenant 
is obliged to come out. The American badger appears 
to be a more carnivorous animal than the European 
one. A .female which I killed had a small marmot, 
nearly entire, together with some field-mice, in its 
stomach. It had also been eating some vegetable 

THE INDIAN BADGEE (Meles collaris}. Some 
naturalists also regard this species as an aberrant form 
of badger, and they go so far as to place it with the 
digitigrade teledus ! It is an inhabitant of Hiudostan, 
and is commonly called by the natives the Bhalloo-soor, 
or Bear-pig. This title is by no means inappropriate, 
for, if we are to accept the description of Frederick 
Cuvier, the combination of swinish and ursine charac- 
ters is very evident. It is similar to the European 
form in respect of bulk, but the tail is considerably 
longer, measuring nine inches. Mr. Johnson, in his 
" Indian Field Sports," says they " are marked exactly 
like those in England, but they are larger and taller, 
are exceedingly fierce, and will attack a number of 
dogs." The tame specimens kept in the menagerie of 
the governor-general at Barrackpoor, when irritated, 
| gave out a peculiar kind of grunt, and stood up on 
their hind limbs to show fight precisely in the same 
manner as ordinary bears. The female appeared more 
docile than the male. Their movements were sluggish, 
and they always preferred vegetable to animal food, 
being particularly fond of bread and fruits. In the 
wild state, the Indian badger appears to be exceedingly 
savage. It occurs chiefly in the hilly districts, but is 
not very abundant anywhere. 

THE EUROPEAN BADGER (Meles taxus), fig. 21. 
Before noticing this creature's habits, we offer a few 
remarks on the principal characters w T hich distinguish it, 
especially as we have designedly omitted entering upon 
minute details in our description of the two preceding 
aberrant forms. The body is broad and depressed, 
and is furnished with short powerful limbs, termi- 
nating in plantigrade, pentadactylous feet, whose digits 
are armed with long, powerful, fossorial claws. The 
fur consists of shaggy, coarse, bristly hairs, those on 


the belly touching the ground during progression. 
The head is remarkably long and attenuated in front. 
The ears are short, almost concealed, and placed well 
back. The mouth is provided with thirty-six teeth, of 
which there are twelve incisors, four canines, sixteen 
spurious, and four true molars, a moiety being appro- 
priated by either jaw. The back is feebly curved, the 
tail being particularly short and only reaching down 
to the middle of the limbs. One of this animal's most 
remarkable peculiarities consists in the presence of a 

The European Badger (Me'es taxus). 

glandular pouch situated under the tail. This organ, 
which also exists in many other carnivorous animals, 
such as the skunks and weasels, secretes an unctuous 
oily material having a disgusting fetid odour. It is 
this circumstance which has suggested the common 
proverb, by which ill-savoured matters are said to 
" stink like badger." With regard to the varied 
colour- of the fur, Mr. Ogil'y gives the following 
minute description : " The head of the badger is 
white, except the region beneath the chin, which is 
black, and two bands of the same colour, which rise on 
each side, a little behind the corners of the mouth, and 
after passing backwards and enveloping the eye and 
ear, terminate at the junction of the head and neck. 
The hairs of the upper part of the body, considered 
separately, are of three different colours yellowish- 
white at the bottom, black in the middle, and ashy- 
grey at the point; the last colour alone, however, 
appears externally, and gives the uniform sandy-grey 
shade which covers all the upper parts of the body. 
The tail is furnished with long, coarse hair of the 
same colour and quality, and the throat, breast, belly, 
and limbs are covered with shorter hair of a uni- 
form deep black." The European badger can scarcely 
be considered a common animal. It is by no means 
abundant on the continent, while in this country it 
appears to be rapidly approaching extinction. It has 
lost its ursine companion of former days, and in a few 
centuries more our persecuted friend will probably be 
better known by his fossil remains than by the smell 
of his greasy fur. At, or immediately succeeding, the 
close of the glacial period, he associated himself with 
several species of bears and hyaenas, whose specific 
characters and habits are only known to us by the 
bony relics they have left in caverns and among the 

sands of time. A master hand has thus portrayed 
the habits of a living badger : " Heavy, sleepy, and 
slothful, endowed with but a moderate degree of intel- 
lect, and with instincts dull and obtuse, it yet possesses 
a character and qualities which, if not peculiarly inter- 
esting and intelligent, are far from being disgusting 
and ferocious ; and, if it do not boast the admirable 
sagacity and lively attachment of the dog, it is yet free 
from the cunning and rapine of the fox, and the 
fierceness and treachery of the cat. Its favourite 
haunts are obscure and gloomy. It retires to the 
deepest recesses of woods, or to thick coppices cover- 
ing the sides of hills; and there with its long and 
powerful claws, digs for itself a deep and well-formed 
domicile, consisting of more than one apartment, the 
single entrance to which is by a deep, oblique, and 
even tortuous excavation. The general form of the 
elongated but robust body, the long taper muzzle ter- 
minating in a movable snout, the hard coarse hair, 
the loose and leathery skin, the low and plantigrade 
limbs, and the fossorial character of the claws combine 
to fit the badger for a subterraneous abode, and to 
enable it to form that abode by its own labour. 
There it sleeps during the greater part of the day, 
coming abroad only for a short period in the evening 
or night to seek its sustenance, in the choice of which 
it exhibits as completely an omnivorous character as 
perhaps any animal with which we are acquainted. 
Its food, in fact, consists indifferently of various roots, 
earth-nuts, beech-mast, fruits, the eggs of birds, some 
of the smaller quadrupeds, frogs, and insects. Buffon 
states that it digs up wasps' nests for the sake of the 
honey a fact which has received an interesting con- 
firmation from the observation of a correspondent of 
London's Magazine of Natural History, who seems, 
however, to attribute the destruction of these nests to 
the fondness of the badger for the larvae of the wasp, 
as he says that the combs were found scattered about, 
but none were left that contained the maggots." Mr. 
Bell also observes, further on, in regard to the methods 
of taking this animal " The favourite mode, and 
that which is perhaps the most successful, is by catch- 
ing him in a sack placed at the entrance of his hole. 
The haunt of a badger being ascertained, a moon-light 
night is chosen when he is out feeding, and a small 
sack is placed within the mouth of the hole, fastened at 
the outside, with the mouth of the bag outwards, 
and having a running string round it. Two or three 
couples of hounds are then thrown off at some dis- 
tance, and as soon as the badger hears their cry, he 
makes for his home with all speed, and runs into the 
sack, which closes behind him by the tightening of the 
running string at its mouth. Another method is by 
digging him out. This, however, is laborious and not 
always successful, particularly in sandy soils, in which 
the badger will easily foil the dogs which pursue him 
n his subterraneous passages, by throwing the earth 
back upon them, and blocking up their way, whilst he 
takes advantage of their loss of time, and makes his 
way to the surface." The nest of the badger is made 
>f soft herbage, especially moss and grass. The female 
produces three or four young ones at a birth, the cubs 
being suckled for about five or six weeks, after which 



they are permitted to help themselves. If captured 
vhile still young, they are readily tamed, and hecome 
very playful and agreeable companions. Notwith- 
standing, however, all that has been recorded in their 
favour, we do not ourselves either propose or recom- 
mend the rearing of a family of badgers. We heartily 
rejoice that the barbarous custom of badger-baiting 
lias now completely passed away ; but we still recol- 
lect an exhibition of this kind some twenty years ago, 
in a village iji -tire county of Suffolk, since which time 
various societies have been established throughout the 
kingdom for the humane purpose of suppressing cruelty 
to noxious as well as inoffensive animals. 

THE KINKAJOU (Cercoleptes caudivolvula). By 
some authors the kinkajou is placed among the Viver- 
ridse. Although its general aspect would at first 
naturally lead us to coincide with such an arrange- 
ment, yet its structural characters are evidently 
more intimately associated with the Ursidse, and con- 
sequently we have introduced it in this place. Unlike 
the badgers, its head is short, rounied, and more 
resembling the apes, the muzzle being only very 
slightly produced. The jaws are furnished with thirty- 
six teeth, there being twelve incisors, four canines, 
twelve spurious, and eight true molars. The two 
anterior grinders on either side, above and below, 
are conical, the remainder being tuberculated. Their 
crowns are also flattened, those of the lower jaw having 
an oblong form, while the upper series are a little 
widened transversely. The tongue is slendet and 
extensile. The body is cylindrical, a good deal curved 
posteriorly, and terminates in a long prehensile tail. 
According to Mr. Blyth, its capacity of employing the 
tail as a fifth limb is very limited ; for he says " One 
which I had an opportunity of studying as it ran about 
loose in a room, possessed the prehensile power of 
the tail in an extremely moderate degree, merely 
resting slightly on this organ, which it stiffened 
throughout its length, and never coiled in the manner 
of the Sapajous." Frederick Cuvier's figure represents 
i he tail several times coiled upon itself. The feet are 
tive-toed and plantigrade. The fur is thick and 
woolly, and of a golden -yellow brownish colour. The 
kinkajou is an inhabitant of the tropical paits of 
America, and of the principal West India islands. It 
is strictly arboreal and nocturnal in its habits, cau- 
tiously moving to and fro, and feeding on fruits, honey, 
milk, insects, eggs, small birds, and quadrupeds. Its 
disposition appears to be peculiarly mild and gentle. 

THF BROWN COATIMONDI (Xasiia narica} Plate 
11, fig. 38. The genus Nasua includes two or more 
species of coati, of which this is probably the best 
known form. It is distinguished by the presence of 
white patches over the eye and muzzle. In the red 
coati, on the other hand, the snout is quite brown, the 
fur, generally, being of a rufo-fulvous hue. Without, 
however, insisting very strongly on these specific dis- 
tinctions, we may observe that the coatis are charac- 
terized by the possession of an elongated head, the 
muzzle being extended into a movable proboscis. 
The superior border is particularly narrow, while the 
tip is slightly turned upwards. The ears are short, 
broad, and oval. The jaws are provided with forty 

teeth ; that is to say, twelve iucisives, four canines, 
sixteen premolars, and eight true molars. The canines 
are somewhat compressed, and have sharp points. 
The molars are comparatively small, three of the lower 
series being narrower than those of the upper. These 
animals are eminently arboreal in their habits, and 
consequently we find their plantigrade, pentadactylous 
feet admirably adapted for the purposes of climbing. 
The hinder feet are semi -palmate, and so freely do the 
tarsal bones move upon the leg, that when descending 
head-foremost they almost hang by them ; their ordi- 
nary position, as maintained in walking, being nearly 
reversed. The toes are connected by an extension of 
the skin, and are provided with long, compressed, 
incurved claws. These they employ in digging up 
earthworms and various subterranean insects. They 
also feed upon slugs, snails, small quadrupeds, and 
more particularly upon eggs, birds, and various kinds 
of fruit, and vegetables. In short, nothing seems to 
come amiss, and their appetite is extremely vigorous. 
Before they actually devour the flesh of animals, they 
are careful to tear it in pieces and detach it. Without 
entering at any great length into the structure of 
the skeleton, a drawing of which is given in Plate 
34, fig. 113, we may remark a general slimness 
of the several osseous elements of which it is com- 
posed. It may also be observed that the elongated 
head slopes very much backwards, while the degree 
of this animal's carnivority is shown by the aspect of 
the teeth already described, and more particularly by 
the sharp, prominent, occipital crest and ridge, which 
afford attachment to the powerful muscles of the neck 
an arrangement enabling the animal to raise its head 
rapidly with great force, so as to impart to the jaws 
the necessary aid in tearing away the soft flesh from 
off the bones of its victims. We may likewise notice 
one other more remarkable peculiarity in the skeleton. 
It is seen in the curious fact that only a single bone or 
vertebral segment is found to represent what is termed 
the sacrum, while in the typical bears and carnivors. 
properly so called, there are always three or four 
conjoined osseous elements, and in the polar bear as 
many as seven. This phenomenon probably bears 
some relation to the arboreal habits of the coati, and 
this power of climbing requires, as we have seen, the 
utmost freedom of motion in the hinder parts of the 
body, while it forms an interesting contrast with the 
consolidated chain of bony elements witnessed in the 
slow-moving bears. The tail of the coatimondi is very 
long, and is marked externally by numerous annula- 
tions, depending upon the alternating dark and light- 
brown hairs which extend from the root to the tip. 
In other parts of the body the colours are more or less 
uniform, and, from the observations of the Prince of 
Neuwied, it would appear that the slight differences of 
colour occurring in the fur of various individuals, are 
entirely insufficient to Indicate the correctness of those 
specific definitions which have hitherto been regarded 
as established. 

THE BINTTJRONG (Ictides albifrons) approximates 
very closely to the racoons, especially in the form of 
the skull. It is an inhabitant of the isles of Borneo, 
Malacca, Sumatra, and the western parts of Java, 



where it is also known as the Palm-civet or Musang. 
The head is short and pointed anteriorly. The body 
is clothed with long hair, which is generally of a grey 
colour, the tail and sides of the muzzle being black. 
The whiskers are extensively developed, forming a 
very conspicuous feature. The eyes are cat-like, with 
the pupil elongated from above downwards, the small 
and rounded ears being covered with a tuft of pencilled 
hairs. The jaws are armed with thirty- eight teeth ; 
that is, twelve incisors, four canines, sixteen spurious, 
and six true molars, only two of the latter occurring 
in the lower jaw. The feet are entirety plantigrade 
and pentadactylous. The tail is remarkably long, 
stoutish throughout, more particularly at the root; it is 
also prehensile. According to Sir Stamford Raffles, 
the Bintnrong is slow and heavy in its movements, 
sleeping for the most part during the day, and at night 
wandering about in search of food. It appears to 
enjoy both an animal and vegetable diet, having 
however, a decided preference for the former. It 
climbs trees with tolerable facility, being greatly 
assisted by the strong prehensile tail. 

THE PANDA (Ailurus refulgens) comes still nearer 
to the racoons, and consequently to the bears proper. 
It is an inhabitant of the Himalaya: 1 , between the 
snowy mountains and Nepaul. The body is stout, 
and covered with a soft thickly set fur. It is of 
a rich cinnamon colour on the back, fulvous pos- 
teriorly, and of a deep black hue beneath. The 
tail is as long as the body, tolerably thick throughout, 
especially at the root, and is annulated with dark 
brown bands. The head is short, broad, rounded, and 
clothed with whitish hair. The ears are small, arched, 
and pointed. The eyes are placed well forward. 
The jaws support thirty-six teeth ; that is, twelve 
incisive, four canines, sixteen spurious, and four true 
molars. The limbs are short, the soles of the planti- 
grade five-toed feet being furnished with fine downy 
hairs. The claws are compressed, curved, retractile, 
and very sharp. Altogether, this animal is a handsome 
species. Respecting its affinities with certain allied 
forms, General Hardwicke states, that the peculiarities 
" on which its rank as a genus depends are striking 
and prominent; but its disposition in a natural series is 
still obscure, as it resembles in several characters the 
individuals of that subdivision of digitigrade Carnassiers, 
from which it differs essentially both in its teeth and 
in its plantigrade walk. Among the peculiarities of 
our animal are to be noticed, the great breadth of the 
rostrum and the singular structure of the teeth ; but 
the most remarkable character, and that on which its 
distinction principally depends, is the form of the 
projecting points of the posterior grinders. This char- 
acter, as far as our observation extends, is peculiar. 
It does not exist, except in a small degree, in any 
other genus of carnivorous quadrupeds." Comparing 
it with the genera Nasua and Procyon, he adds 
"These differ essentially in the lengthened form 
of the head and in the extended rostrum, which 
is terminated by a flexible rhinarium. They also 
differ in the number, character, and distribution of the 
grinders. Nasua and Procyon have in both jaws six 
grinders, of which the three anterior are false ; and of 

those which follow, none of the points even in the 
adult state exhibit the truncation above described." 
The habits of the Panda are strictly arboreal, the 
animal being particularly abundant in the neighbour- 
hood of running streams and mountain torrents. It 
utters a peculiar cry resembling the syllable wha, and 
is consequently sometimes called by the natives the 
Chitwa. Its food consists chiefly of small quadrupeds 
and birds. 

THE EACOON (Procyon lotor} Pltte 11, fig. 37 
is characterized by the possession of an acute fox-like 
muzzle, associated with an attitude thoroughly ursine 
and plantigrade. During progression, however, the 
heel is slightly elevated. The posterior part of the 
head is more or less rounded. The ears are oval and 
a little pointed. The eyes are large and penetrating, 
having spherical pupils. The nose is soft, naked, taper- 
ing, and projecting considerably beyond the mouth. 
The jaws carry forty teeth ; that is, twelve incisors, 
four canines, sixteen spurious, and as many as eight 
true molars. The body measures about two feet in 
length, exclusive of the tail ; but it stands low, the 
back being scarcely a foot from the ground. The 
limbs are short and narrow, when compared with the 
preceding genera. The feet are pentadactylous, the 
digits being clothed and armed with strong falciform 
claws. Its tail is about ten inches long, and annu- 
lated by alternating bands of dark, black, and whitish 
hair, the latter being thick and much elongated. The 
fur is for the most part of a greyish-brown colour. On 
the head a brownish-black streak runs down the central 
line from between the ears to the tip of the nose, and 
on either side, below the eyes, there is an oblique 
patch of a similar colour. Over the eyebrows, and 
towards the muzzle, the hair is whitish. This is also 
the case with the ears. The whiskers are well 
developed. Under the belly the fur is much lighter 
than on the back. The Racoon has an extensive 
range over the upper parts of the North American 
continent. In regard to its habits, Sir John Richard- 
son thus speaks of it : " In the wild state it sleeps by 
day, comes from its retreat in the evening, and prowls 
in the night in search of roots, fruits, green corn, birds, 
and insects. It is said to eat merely the brain, or suck 
the blood of such birds as it kills. At low water it 
frequents the sea-shore to feed on crabs and oysters. 
It is fond of dipping its food into water before it eats, 
which occasioned Linnaeus to give to it the specific 
name of lotor. It climbs trees with facility. The fur 
of the Racoon is used in the manufacture of hats, and 
its flesh, when it has been fed on vegetables, is 
reported to be good." 

THE BBOWN BEAR (Ursus arclos}. Almost every 
one is familiar with this common- species, which has a 
very wide geographical distribution over the northern 
half of the eastern hemisphere, extending from Spain 
and the west of Europe, to the extreme eastern parts 
of Asia and the islands of Japan. It is also now 
generally believed that the Barren-ground bear is only 
a variety of this species an opinion in which we are 
disposed to acquiesce; and if this persuasion be correct, 
Ursus arctos must be considered an American as well 
as European species, wliich would give it a range coex- 



tensive with the circuit of the globe. As the name 
indicates, the general colour of the fur is brown ; but 
it is subject to a great variation of tint, partly depend- 
ing upon age and partly also on locality circum- 
stances which have given origin to several well-marked 
varieties. In the young state the texture of the hair 
is woolly ; but it becomes firm and even in the 
adult condition. The whitish bands seen on the neck 
and sides of the head in the Siberian variety of this 
bear, are, it would seem, merely the permanent indi- 
cations of the pale collar which is commonly more or 
less marked in young specimens of the European form. 
Like all the true ursine types of structure, the common 
brown bear possesses a stout bulky frame and power- 
ful thick limbs (fig. 22). The forehead is slightly con- 

vex, while the ears are short. Its habits are solitary. 
The flesh is very good eating, especially when the 
animal is young. The fur is valued everywhere, and 
more particularly by the Laplanders and the Kam- 
tchatkans, to whom, Mr. Ogilby remarks, "it gives the 
necessaries and even the comforts of life. The skin, 
we are told, forms their beds and their coverlets, 
bonnets for their heads, gloves for their hands, and 
collars for their dogs, while an over-all made of it, 
and drawn over the soles of their shoes, prevents them 
from slipping on the ice. The flesh and fat are their 
dainties. Of the intestines they make masks or 
covers for their faces to protect them from the glare of 
the sun in the spring, and use them as a substitute for 
glass by extending them over their windows. Even 

Fig. 22. 

The Brown Bear (Ursus arctos;. 

the shoulder-blades are said to be put in requisition 
for cutting grass." As a source of sport, it was in 
early times the custom for English sovereigns and 
nobility to assemble together to witness the baiting of 
this unfortunate animal. We rejoice to know that 
those barbarous customs have long since passed away, 
and those who wish to indulge in a fairer and more 
legitimate amusement must betake themselves to the 
mountains and well-wooded districts of Europe and 
Asia, where they will find ample opportunities for de- 
veloping their skill and courage, and, at the same time, 
confer a positive boon upon the inhabitants of many 
an outlying, lonesome, hill-begirt village. Although 
the behaviour of these animals is far less alarming 
than that of lions, tigers, and their congeners, yet 
their pursuit is by no means unattended with danger, 
and it requires great courage to attack them. Among 
the many interesting stories which have from time to 
time appeared respecting encounters with this animal, 
ve are not acquainted with any more daring or des- 

perate than those which have been recorded by Mr. 
Atkinson in his attractive work entitled " Oriental and 
Western Siberia." While in the neighbourhood of 
the celebrated Tsaravo-Nicholiovsky gold mine, two 
men, one of them being a skilled hunter, succeeded in 
springing a bear. " The hunter fired, and the ball 
struck, but not in a vital part. In an instant the 
wounded animal charged. The other man, who was 
less experienced, reserved his shot until within twenty 
paces. The rifle missed. At once the brute raised 
himself on his hind legs, and tearing the earth beneath 
him, rushed'on his first assailant, striking him down 
with a blow that stripped his scalp, and turned it over 
his face. Then seizing his arm, he began to gnaw 
and crush it to the bone, gradually ascending to the 
shoulder. The man called to his companion to load 
and fire ; but the fellow, when he saw his friend so 
fearfully mangled, ran away and left him to his fate. 
Late in the evening he reached the gold mine and 
reported what had happened ; but it was too late to 


make any effort in behalf of the mangled hunter. The 
officer ordered a large party out at day-light the next 
morning with the coward for a guide. He took them 
through the forest to the spot where the encounter 
had taken place, of which there still remained ample 
evidence ; but no remains of the victim were met 
with, except some torn clothing and his rifle. By the 
state of the grass it was evident that the man had been 
carried off into the thick forest. A most diligent pur- 
suit was therefore made. Sometimes the track was 
lost ; but the pursuers of the bear were too well skilled 
in wood-craft to be foiled, and at length discovered 
his larder. He had dragged the hunter into a dense 
mass of wood and bushes, and, to render the place 
still more secure, had broken off a quantity of branches 
and heaped them over his body. These were quickly 
stripped off, when, to their great surprise, they found 
the man, though frightfully mutilated and quite insen- 
sible, still living ! Two long poles were immediately 
cut, to which saddle-cloths were secured in the middle. 
One horse was placed in front, another at the back, 
aud the ends of the pole secured to the stirrups, thus 
forming a very easy conveyance. The sufferer was 
placed upon the saddle-cloths, and carefully propped 
up, and then began the painful march back as fast as 
possible. On their arrival at the gold mine he was 
taken direct to the hospital. The doctor dressed his 
wounds, and administered all that medical skill and 
kindness prompted. His patient survived, but long 
remained unconscious of everything around him. After 
more than two months had elapsed a slight improve- 
ment took place, and his reason appeared to be 
restored. His first question was about the bear, and 
then he referred to his own defeat. He spoke of 
nothing else, and was constantly asking for his rifle to 
go and kill ' Michael Ivanitch ' (the bear). The 
medical men thought his mind seriously affected. As 
he gained strength there arose in him so great a desire 
to have another combat with his powerful and ferocious 
enemy, that it was considered necessary to place him 
under some restraint. Summer had passed over, and 
autumn had arrived; the sun had scorched the foliage, 
changing it into golden and crimson hues, and as it 
was now thought the poor lunatic had forgotten his 
adventure, less vigilance was exercised towards him. 
The opportunity was not lost ; for he secretly left the 
hospital, and started off for his cottage. All the 
family being absent, except some young children, he 
was enabled to secure his rifle and ammunition, and 
provided himself with an axe and a loaf of black bread, 
which he stowed in his wallet. Thus armed and pro- 
visioned, he left the village in the evening without 
having been seen, except by the children, and was 
soon lost to them in the forest. When it was dis- 
covered that he had escaped, people were sent out in 
various directions to seek him ; but they returned 
without success. More than a week passed over, 
during which nothing had been heard of him, when 
one day he walked into the hospital, carrying the 
skin of a huge bear on his shoulders, and throwing it 
down exclaimed, ' I told you I would have him.' 
This man was a fine old hunter. It was not a spirit 
of revenge which prompted him to this daring act. 

The fact was he could not brook the idea of a defeat. 
Now his reputation was re-established, he wag happy. 
His health was again restored ; nor was this the last 
bear that fell before his deadly rifle." Not only do 
the men of these regions courageously attack bears, 
but women also take to hunting, one of them having 
obtained an extraordinary reputation for her skill and 
daring. Thoughout Siberia, Bruin is said to have no 
more intrepid enemy than the damsel, Anna Petrov- 
naia ! The closing scene of one of her expeditious is 
thus described by Mr. Atkinson : " As she was creep- 
ing cautiously forward, out rushed the bear with a 
loud growl, about twenty yards in front. Quickly she 
threw forward the prongs of her rifle, dropped on one 
knee, and got a good sight of the animal staring at 
her, almost motionless. She now touched the trigger, 
there followed a flash, a savage growl succeeded, then 
a struggle for a minute or two, and her wish was 
accomplished the bear lay dead." Since this event, 
we are informed that she has destroyed no less than 
sixteen bears ! Here we would willingly quit the sub- 
ject, but cannot do so without also recording the most 
desperate encounter probably ever placed on record. 
This took place not far from the district in which the 
poor hunter above mentioned was so terribly mangled. 
One afternoon, says Mr. Atkinson, a Cossack officer 
" was quietly strolling through the forest, alone and 
unarmed, botanizing by the way, when, at a distance of 
about eight versts from the gold mine, he came out of 
the forest into an open glade, on which stood some 
single trees. Almost immediately on entering this 
spot, he observed at a distance of two hundred paces 
a she-bear and her two cubs playing together. The 
moment she became aware of his presence, she uttered 
a savage growl, drove her young ones into a tree for 
shelter, and mounted guard at the foot of it to defend 
them. The Cossack retreated into the wood to pro- 
vide himself with a weapon, having determined to 
carry oft' the cubs. The woodmen had been cutting 
timber, and from the stems of several young birch 
trees lying on the ground, he selected part of a 
strong one, nearly four feet in length, tried its quality 
against a tree in a succession of smart blows, and then 
club in hand, retraced his steps. As soon as the old 
bear observed his approach she began to growl furi- 
ously, moving to and fro with an uneasy motion at the 
foot of the tree. He slowly and steadily advanced, 
when within about a hundred paces her growl became 
more savage, and her actions showed that she intended 
mischief. Nevertheless he quietly moved on, his keen 
eye steadfastly fixed upon her. The ground was a fine 
grassy turf, with no shrubs or bushes to impede his 
movements or entangle his feet. When within about 
fifty paces, she made a savage rush that would have 
daunted most men ; but he firmly stood his ground, 
waiting her nearer approach. At this monient the 
cubs began to whine, and she trotted back towards 
the tree in increased fury. The Cossack followed, 
and when she turned round, they were face to face, 
within twenty paces of each other. There was now 
no retreat. The brute eyed him keenly for two or 
three minutes, as if calculating his strength ; he return- 
ing her gaze with as searching scrutiny. Presently 




she made a second rush, her eyes glaring like balls of 
fire. At a few paces from her enemy she rose on her 
hind legs, intending to give him a settler with her 
powerful paws, or to clasp him in her savage embrace ; 
but on the instant, he made a sweep with his club, 
and dealt a blow that toppled her over. She was up 
again in a second, and ready for action, but another 
blow laid her prostrate. This added to her ferocity, 
and it at once became a close encounter of the most 
deadly and savage character. Many rounds were 
fought, her antagonist keeping clear of her paws. At 
last the blows began to tell on her courage. She 
endeavoured to get behind him ; but his cudgel met 
her at every turn, and was so well wielded that when- 
ever within reach she received a stroke which drove her 
back step by step, till both came under the tree. 
Here the fight was renewed with increased fury, and 
every time the cubs whined she made her attack with 
redoubled violence. The battle continued to rage 
furiously ; but the blows from the staff fell so fast, and 
were applied with so much force, that at last she 
began a retreat towards the forest, the skirts of which 
she entered; but the moment her brave assailant 
moved a step towards the tree, she would rush out, 
taking especial care, however, not to come within his 
reach. The cubs remained in the branches the sole 
spectators of this extraordinary scene; nor could the 
Cossack officer devise any plan by which he could get 
them down. At their respective posts the combat- 
ants stood, he guarding the cubs, and the mother 
standing at the edge of the forest. At this time a 
woodman returning to the gold mine, rode into the 
glade. He was instantly hailed, and rode towards the 
tree ; but when he heard the growls, and beheld the 
bear, then in her most savage mood, bis natural 
impulse to bolt was only checked by the fear of a 
birching promised by his superior. He was ordered 
to dismount, and take from his saddle the zumka (large 
leathern bags), and open them ; then to climb the tree, 
and bring down the cubs. The man was soon up 
among the branches, secured a cub, brought it down, 
and then tied it safe in the bag. The other was also 
quickly placed beside it in the other bag. During 
these operations the mother rushed at the Cossack, 
and was several times knocked down by his weapon. 
The peasant was now ordered to place the bags on his 
horse, and lead the way to the gold mine, the Cossack 
covering the retreat, and beating off the enemy .at 
every charge. After a walk of nearly two hours, they 
reached the village, the bear keeping close up with 
them. As they went through the forest, she made 
many charges, but each time was laid prostrate, and 
finally would not approach within striking distance. 
When they reached the village the Cossack officer 
hoped to secure the dam ; but after following them to 
the cottages, she returned to the forest, and was never 
seen again. The cubs were kept, and became great 
pets with the people. Even the hardy hunters of 
Siberia consider this a most daring feat, wondering at 
the power, and admiring the cool courage of the man 
who accomplished it" Mr. Atkinson records many 
other pleasing adventures and interesting facts con- 
nected with the Siberian bear. Like most other 

quadrupeds, this animal has a great fear of fire ; but 
when pressed with hunger he will, in order to seize 
any person who may be reposing by a fire in fancied 
security, deliberately enter some stream, and having 
saturated his fur with water, put out the fire by rolling 
over it, and then secure his victim. Bears have been 
known, even in the wild state, to show attachment to 
young people ; and the same author mentions an 
instance where two young children, two and four 
years of age respectively, had wandered from a hay- 
field where their parents were at work, and when the 
father and mother went to look for them, lo and 
behold ! one was sitting on a huge bear's back, whilst 
the other was feeding the beast with wild fruit! 
The children readily came away at their parents' 
alarming calls, and Bruin seemed vexed to part with 
his joyous little companions. 

THE SYKIAN BEAE (Ursus syi-iacus). This 
appears to be a well-marked species ; the fur is of a 
fulvous or light-brown colour, whilst on the upper part of 
the heck there is a mane of thick rigid hairs, which 
increase in length towards the shoulders, terminating 
posteriorly about the centre of the back. The Syrian 
bear, though often feasting upon animals, is said to be 
particularly partial to certain kinds of vegetable food, 
and more especially to the chick-pea, Cicer arietinns, 
entire crops being laid waste by its ravages. 

HORSFIELD'S BEAE ( Ursus isabellinus) is an inha- 
bitant of the entire Himalayan chain of hills, and, like 
the foregoing species, is of a pale fulvous colour ; it is, 
however, quite a distinct form. According to Dr. 
Horsfield, it resembles "the European bears in its 
structure, as far at least as can be determined from the 
parts which have been preserved in the specimen 
(procured from Nepaul). Among these, the claws 
afford the best means of comparison ; they are small, 
obtuse, and straight ; while those of the Asiatic bears 
(U. thibetinus, U. labiatus, and U. malayanus) are 
large, strongly-curved, acute, and fitted for climbing." 

THE SLOTH BEAU (Ursus labiatus} exhibits so 
striking a resemblance to a sloth, that when it was first 
made known to Europeans, it was actually described 
as a species of Bradypus. Some confusion has arisen 
respecting it, partly perhaps on account of the varied 
nomenclature by which it has been indicated ; thus it 
is called the Ursine sloth, the Labiated bear, the Jungle 
bear, and one author denominates it the Bengal bear. 
It is an awkward, unwieldy animal. The body is 
clothed with thickly-set, black, shaggy hair, which 
becomes much longer when the animal is old. The 
head is depressed and attenuated in front, the nasal 
cartilage being movable and extensile. The lips are 
capable of protrusion, this being especially the case 
with the lower one. Captain Thomas Williamson, in 
his " Oriental Field Sports," remarks that " the Bengal 
bear is distinguished by the deep black colour of his 
hair, and by a crescent of white hair, like a gorget, on 
his breast. The hind legs are shorter, and the paws 
flatter and longer than those of the European breed ; 
his pace is more shuffling, awkward, and laboured, 
though quick enough to overtake a man on foot ; and 
his hair is long and thinly scattered over his body. He 
is remarkably active in climbing; frequently, when not 




more than a month old, a cub will ascend to the 
shoulder of his keeper with great ease, and descend 
again, stern foremost, with equal adroitness." Its food 
consists chiefly of fruits, honey, and white ants, of 
which latter it appears to be particularly fond. When 
the Bengal bear " finds a nest of any kind of ants, but 
especially white ants, he is in his glory ! he tears the 
whole burrow, licking up all the clusters he can get at, 
and lying with his tongue out to entice the little prey 
into his mouth. By this means, he no doubt often 
obtains an ample meal ; for I think I may with pro- 
priety assert that frequently a bushel of white ants may 
be found in the same nest. The presence of bears in 
the vicinity of a village is generally pretty well known 
by the nature of the covers, and their having been, 
perhaps time out of mind, regular visitors ; sometimes, 
however, they change their haunts, on which their 
neighbourhood is commonly first discovered by the ant- 
hills and burrows near the sides of roads being 
found in a state of destruction." Their food, however, 
does not appear to be confined to insects and fruit, for 
the same naturalist observes that they will attack and 
devour quadrupeds, and even man himself. He gives 
the following sad account of their behaviour : " It has 
often been in my way to see the operations of bears ; 
and I am confident that no animals exist more cruel, 
more fierce, nor more implacable than they are ! Such 
as have suffered under their brutality have in all 
instances within my knowledge borne the proofs of 
having undergone the most dilatory torments. Some 
have had the bones macerated, with little breaking of 
the skin ; others have had the flesh sucked away into 
long fibrous remnants, and, in one instance, the most 
horrid brutality was displayed. While stationed at 
Dacca, I went with a party several times to the great 
house at Tergong, distant about five miles from the 
town. I had on several occasions seen bears among 
the wild mango topes, and did not consider them as 
being so dangerous, until one day as I was returning 
with a friend from hunting some hog-deer, we heard a 
most lamentable outcry in the cover through which we 
had to pass. Having our spears, and being provided 
with guns, we alighted, not doubting but a leopard had 
attacked some poor woodcutter. We met a woman 
whose fears had deprived her of speech, and whose 
senses were just flitting. She, however, collected her- 
self sufficiently to pronounce the word bauloo, which 
signifies a bear. She led us with caution to a spot 
not more than fifty yards distant, where we found her 
husband extended on the ground, his hands and feet, 
as I before observed, sucked and chewed into a perfect 
pulp, the teguments of the limb in general drawn from 
under the skin, and the skull mostly laid bare, the 
skin of it hanging down in long stripes, obviously 
effected by their talons. What was most wonderful 
was, that the unhappy man retained his senses suffi- 
ciently to describe that he had been attacked by several 
bears, one of which had embraced him about the head 
and bit at his arms and legs, seemingly in competition 
for the booty. We conveyed the wretched object to 
the house, where, in a few hours, death relieved him 
from a state in which no human being could afford the 
smallest assistance !" The Bengal bears appear to be 
VOL. I. 

abundant on the eastern side of the Ganges, but of late 
years their number has been very considerably reduced 
by the skill of our Indian officers, who are notoriously 
fond of the sport of hunting. 

THE MALAYAN SUN-BEAU (Helarctos malayanus] 
is also characterized by the possession of a deep jet- 
black fur, the hairs of which are, however, compara- 
tively shorter than obtains in the foregoing species, the 
breast being marked by a white patch of a heart- 
shaped colour. In the Bornean bear, which we take to 
be a mere variety of this species, this patch is of a ful- 
vous colour, and likewise deeply notched in front. The 
Malayan bear feeds chiefly on vegetables and honey, 
and is said to evince a special predilection for the young 
shoots of cocoa-nut trees, to which it proves very 
destructive. The length of the body is about four and 
a half feet. This animal appears to be easily tamed, 
if taken whilst still young. Sir Stamford Raffles' 
account of one in his possession might almost induce 
us to desire a similar companion. He says, it " was 
brought up in the nursery with the children, and when 
admitted to my table, as was frequently the case, gave 
a proof of his taste by refusing to eat any fruit but 
mangosteens, or to drink any wine but champagne. 
The only time I ever knew him to be out of humour 
was on an occasion when no champagne was forth- 
coming. It was naturally of an affectionate disposition, 
and it was never found necessary to chain or chastise 
him. It was usual for this bear, the cat, the dog, and 
a small blue mountain bird or lory of New Holland, to 
mess together and eat out of the same dish. His 
favourite playfellow was the dog, whose teasing and 
worrying was always borne and returned with the 
utmost good humour and playfulness. As he grew 
up he became a very powerful animal, and in 
his rambles in the garden he would lay hold of 
the largest plantains, the stems of which he could 
scarcely embrace, and tear them up by the roots." 
Of a tame specimen of the Bornean variety, Dr. Hors- 
field also gave the following interesting account: 
" The Helarctos readily distinguishes the keeper, and 
evinces an attachment to him. On his approach 
it employs all its efforts to obtain food, seconding 
them by emitting a coarse but not unpleasant whin- 
ing sound. This it continues while it consumes 
its food, alternately with a low grunting noise; but 
if teased at this time, it suddenly raises its voice 
and emits at intervals harsh and grating sounds. 
Our animal is excessively voracious, and appears to 
be disposed to eat almost without cessation. When 
in a good humour, it often amuses the spectators 
in a different manner. Calmly seated in its apartment, 
it expands the jaws and protrudes its long and slender 
tongue as above described. It displays on many occa- 
sions not only much gentleness of disposition, but like- 
wise a considerable degree of sagacity. It appears 
conscious of the kind treatment it receives from its 
keeper. On seeing him, it often places itself in a 
variety of attitudes to court his attention and caresses ; 
extending its nose and anterior feet, or suddenly turning 
round exposing the back, and waiting for several 
minutes in this attitude with the head placed on the 
ground. It delights in being patted and rubbed, 



and even allows strangers to do so ; but it violently 
resents abuse and ill-treatment, and, having been irri- 
tated, refuses to be courted while the offending person 
remains in sight." This unfortunate animal died sud- 
denly one summer's morning, after having gorged itself 
with a too hearty meal. 

THE BLACK BEAE (Ursus americanus) is a well- 
known species, inhabiting the American continent from 
the shores of the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from the 
Arctic regions to the Isthmus of Panama. The form 
termed the Spectacled bear, which inhabits the wooded 
slopes of the Andes and Cordilleras in Chili, is likewise 
by many naturalists regarded as a mere variety of this 
species. The American black bear differs only in the 
non-displayinent of certain pale fulvous marks situated 
on the throat and cheeks, and similar light bands round 
the eyes from which the Spectacled bear has derived its 
name. Other varieties of the American black bear 
have also been described. This species is occasionally 
as much as five feet in length, but it seldom exceeds 
that measure. The fur is of a soft even texture, and 
of a shining black colour. The head is comparatively 
naiTow ; the muzzle elongated and pointed. The claws 
are sharp, strongly curved, and in great part concealed 
by the hair. Like its congeners, it is partial to well- 
wooded and rocky grounds. Here it feeds principally 
upon vegetable matters, but often succeeds in capturing 
quadrupeds and birds, which it readily devours, as well 
as fish. When winter approaches, it retires either into 
the hollow of some tree, or more commonly into a kind 
of den amongst fallen trees or brushwood, where it digs 
up the soil in such a way as to scoop out a tolerably 
secure and snug retreat. A small opening in its snow- 
clad tenement allows fresh air to enter. The American 
black bear is naturally timid, nevertheless it is regarded 
by the natives with considerable dread, chiefly it would 
appear on superstitious grounds. In proof of this, we 
produce the following interesting account by Mr. 
Henry, an early traveller, who was in the neighbour- 
hood of Lake Michigan when the incident which he 
here describes took place: "In the course of the 
month of January, I happened to observe that the 
trunk of a very large pine tree was much torn by the 
claws of a bear, made both in going up and down. On 
further examination, I saw that there was a large 
opening in the upper part, near which the smaller 
branches were broken. From these marks, and from 
the additional circumstance that there were no tracks 
in the snow, there was reason to believe that a bear 
lay concealed in the tree. On returning to the lodge, 
I communicated my discovery, and it was agreed that 
all the family should go together in the morning to 
assist in cutting down the tree, the girth of which was 
was not less than three fathoms. The women at first 
opposed the undertaking, because our axes, being only 
of a pound and a half in weight, were not well-adapted 
to so heavy a labour ; but the hope of finding a large 
bear, and obtaining from its fat a great quantity of oil, 
an article at the time much wanted, at length prevailed. 
Accordingly in the morning we surrounded the tree, 
both men and women, as many at a time as could con- 
veniently work at it ; and there we toiled like beavers 
till the sun went down. This day's work carried us 

about half-way through the trunk, and the next morn- 
ing we renewed the attack, continuing it till about two 
o'clock in the afternoon, when the tree fell to the 
ground. For a few minutes everything remained quiet, 
and I feared that all our expectations would be disap- 
pointed ; but as I advanced to the opening there came 
out, to the great satisfaction of all our party, a bear of 
extraordinary size, which I shot. The bear being dead, 
all my assistants approached, and all, but particularly 
my old mother (as I was wont to call her), took the 
head in their hands, stroking and kissing it several 
times, begging a thousand pardons for taking away her 
life, calling her their relation and grandmother, and 
requesting her not to lay the fault upon them, since it 
was truly an Englishman that had put her to death. 
This ceremony was not of long duration, and if it was I 
that killed their grandmother they were not themselves 
behind-hand in whatremained to be done. The skin being 
taken off, we found the fat in several places six inches 
deep. This being divided into two parts, loaded two 
persons ; the flesh parts were as much as four persons 
could carry. In all, the carcass must have exceeded 
five hundredweight. As soon as we reached the lodge 
the bear's head was adorned with all the trinkets in 
the possession of the family, such as silver arm-bands 
and wrist-bands, and belts of wampum, and then laid 
upon a scaffold set up for its reception within the lodge. 
Near the nose was placed a large quantity of tobacco. 
The next morning no sooner appeared than prepara- 
tions were made for a feast to the manes. The lodge 
was cleaned and swept, and the head of the bear lifted 
up, and a new Stroud blanket which had never been 
used before laid under it. The pipes were now lit, and 
Wawatam blew tobacco smoke into the nostrils of the 
bear, telling me to do the same, and thus appease the 
anger of the bear on account of my having killed her. 
I endeavoured to persuade my benefactor and friendly 
adviser that she no longer had any life, and assured 
him that I was under no apprehension from her displea- 
sure ; but the first proposition obtained no credit, and 
the second gave but little satisfaction. At length, the 
feast being ready, Wawatam made a speech resembling 
in many respects his address to the manes of his rela- 
tions and departed companions, but having this pecu- 
liarity that he here deplored the necessity under which 
men laboured thus to destroy their friends. He repre- 
sented, however, that the misfortune was unavoidable, 
since without doing so they could by no means subsist. 
The speech ended, we all ate heartily of the bear's 
flesh ; and even the head itself, after remaining three 
days on the scaffold, was put into the kettle." Inde- 
pendent of these statements, we have plenty of evidence 
that the flesh of the American black bear is excellent 
eating ; and recently Mr. Oliphant. who has enjoyed 
considerable experience of different kinds of food both 
in the eastern and western quarters of the northern 
hemisphere, declares for himself and his companions 
that it is a " royal feast " In the winter time the 
female produces from one to five cubs, and in order 
to secure her progeny from the attack of other animals, 
such as wolves and the like, she makes her lodging, as 
we have seen, high up among the branches of thickly- 
wooded trees. 



THE GRISLY BEAR ( Ursus ferox) is also an Ameri- 
can species. Its disposition is exceedingly fierce, and 
it is endowed with prodigious strength. Its muscular 
power may be estimated by the circumstance of a 
specimen of this animal having been seen to carry 
the carcass of an American buffalo, weighing about 
one thousand pounds, to a considerable distance. The 
travellers Messrs. Lewis and Clark measured a speci- 
men which had attained a length of nine feet, and 
some persons pretend to have met with individuals 
several feet longer. The head is broad and flattish 
on the crown, and nearly even from the occiput to the 
nose, except in old specimens ; the ears are short and 
conical ; the muzzle being wide, and of a pale colour. 
The fur is long and of a deep-brown tint ; commercially 
speaking, it is of inferior quality. Its limbs are 
powerful, the feet being armed with very long, com- 
pressed, white, strongly -curved claws ; the inferior 
border of the latter is particularly narrow. Its rudi- 
mentary tail is entirely concealed by the hair. With 
regard to its habits, the grisly bear is more carnivorous 
than the preceding species, although it does not refuse 
to subsist on a vegetable diet if animal food be not 
forthcoming. Sir John Richardson has given us the 
following interesting narrative, which he states to be 
derived from authentic sources: "A party of voyagers 
who had been employed all day in tracking a canoe up 
the Sasketchewan, had seated themselves in the twilight 
by a fire, and were busy in preparing their supper, 
when a large grisly bear sprung over their canoe that 
was tilted behind them, and seizing one of the party by 
the shoulder, carried him off. The rest fled in terror, 
with the exception of a Metif named Bourasso, 
who, grasping his gun, followed the bear as it was 
retreating leisurely with its prey. He called to his 
unfortunate comrade that he was afraid of hitting him 
if he fired at the bear, but the latter entreated him to 
tire immediately, without hesitation, as the bear was 
squeezing him to death. On this he took a deliberate 
aim, and discharged his piece into the body of the 
bear, which instantly dropped its prey to pursue 
Bourasso. He escaped with difficulty, and the bear 
ultimately retreated to a thicket, where it was supposed 
to have died ; but the curiosity of the party not being 
a match for their fears, the fact of its decease was not 
ascertained. The man who was rescued had his arm 
fractured, and was otherwise severely bitten by the 
bear, but finally recovered. I have seen Bourasso, and 
can add that the account which he gives is fully 
credited by the traders resident in that part of the 
country, who are best qualified to judge of its truth from 
the knowledge of the parties. I have been told that 
there is a man now living in the neighbourhood of 
Edmonston House who was attacked by a grisly bear, 
which sprung out of a thicket, and with one stroke of 
its paw completely scalped him, laying bare the skull, 
and bringing the skin of the forehead down over the 
eyes. Assistance coming up, the bear made off with- 
out doing him further injury, but, the scalp not being 
replaced, the poor man has lost his sight, although he 
thinks that his eyes are uninjured. Mr. Drummond, 
in his excursions over the Eocky Mountains, had fre- 
quent opportunities of observing the manners of grisly 

bears, and it often happened that in turning the point 
of a rock or sharp angle of a valley he came suddenly 
upon one or more of them. On such occasions they 
reared on their hind legs and made a loud noise like a 
person breathing quick, but much harsher. He kept 
his ground without attempting to molest them, and 
they on their part, after attentively regarding him for 
some time, generally wheeled round and galloped off; 
though, from their known disposition, there is little 
doubt he would have been torn in pieces had he lost 
his presence of mind and attempted to fly. When he 
discovered them from a distance, he generally fright- 
ened them away by beating on a large tin box in which 
he carried his specimens of plants. He never saw 
more than four together, and two of these he supposes 
to have been cubs ; he more often met them singly or 
in pairs. He was only once attacked, and then by a 
female, for the purpose of allowing her cubs time to 
escape. His gun on this occasion missed fire, but he 
kept her at bay with the stock of it, until some gentle- 
men of the Hudson's Bay Company, with whom he 
was travelling at the time, came up and drove her off. 
In the latter end of June, 1826, he observed a male 
caressing a female, and soon afterwards they both 
came towards him, but whether accidentally, or for the 
purpose of attacking him, he was uncertain. He 
ascended a tree, and as the female drew near, fired at 
and mortally wounded her. She uttered a few loud 
screams, which threw the male into a furious rage, and 
he reared up against the trunk of the tree in which Mr. 
Drummond was seated, but never attempted to ascend 
it. The female ; in the meanwhile retiring to a short 
distance, lay down, and as the male was proceeding to 
join her, Mr. Drummond shot him also. From the 
size of their teeth and claws, he judged them to be 
about forty years old. The cubs of the grisly bear can 
climb trees, but when the animal is fully grown it is 
unable to do so, as the Indians report, from the form 
of its claws. Two instances are related by Lewis and 
Clarke, and I have heard of several others, where a 
hunter having sought shelter in a tree from the pursuit 
of a grisly bear, has been held a close prisoner for 
many hours, by the infuriated animal keeping watch 
below." The flesh of the grisly bear is of very inferior 
quality ; so much so, indeed, that the native Indians 
reject it, unless other food cannot be procured. 
Although these animals invariably hybernate during 
the winter months, the old males sometimes steal forth 
from their snug abodes to seek for food. The grisly bear 
has . a pretty wide geographical distribution on the 
North American continent, extending from a latitude 
of upwards of sixty degrees north, to Mexico in the 
south. It is most abundant on the eastern slopes of 
the Rocky Mountains. 

THE POLAE BEAK (Thalarctos maritimus), Plate 
12, fig. 39. This is the most carnivorous of all the 
bears, probably however, more by necessity than by 
choice. It is essentially a marine animal, destined to 
wander to and fro on blocks of ice, in dreary soli- 
tudes and wastes, seldom visited, save by the Esqui- 
maux and a few of the more enterprising spirits of 
human kind. Here the polar bear makes havoc 
among seals, whales, walruses, and other denizens of 



the polar seas. Dead or alive, nothing comes amiss, 
while his skill enables him to secure not only fish, 
but even birds. The general appearance of the polar 
bear is too well known to require a lengthened 
description ; yet, it is necessary to notice a few of 
the principal characters. The body is more cylin- 
drical than that of the land varieties of bear ; the head 
is likewise rather more elongated ; the ears are short. 
The muzzle is somewhat curved, the mouth being 
comparatively small, while the neck is long and thick 
The fur, generally speaking, is white, long, loose, 
woolly in texture, and has a silvery lustre ; on the legs 
and under the surface of the belly the hairs are much 
more lengthened. The claws are short, only slightly 
curved, and nearly concealed by the fur. The size 
attained by the polar bear is very considerable. Cap- 
tain Lyons met with a specimen measuring rather more 
than eight and a half feet in length, and weighing six- 
teen hundred pounds avoirdupois. The same gentleman 
obtained from an intelligent Esquimaux the following 
account of the manner in which this animal hyber- 
nates : " At the commencement of winter the preg- 
nant bears are very fat and always solitary. When a 
heavy fall of snow sets in, the animal seeks some hollow 
place in which she can lie down, and remains quiet 
while the snow covers her. Sometimes she will wait 
until a quantity of snow has fallen, and then digs her- 
self a cave ; at all events, it seems necessary that she 
should be covered by, and lie amongst the snow. She 
now goes to sleep, and does not wake until the spring 
sun is pretty high, when she brings forth two' cubs. 
The cave by this time has become much larger, by the 
effect of the animal's warmth and breath, so that the 
cubs have room enough to move, and they acquire 
considerable strength by continually sucking. The 
dam at length becomes so thin and weak, that it is 
with great difficulty that she extricates herself, when 
the sun is powerful enough to throw a strong glare 
through the snow which roofs the den." We have 
already alluded to this animal's cunning and activity. 
Here is the method it adopts to catch a seal, for the 
account of which we are also indebted to the " Private 
Journal " of Captain Lyon : " The bear, on seeing his 
intended prey, gets quietly into the water, and swims 
to leeward of him, from whence, by frequent short 
dives, he silently makes his approaches, and so arranges 
his distance that, at the last dive, he comes to the spot 
where the seal is lying. If the poor animal attempts to 
escape by rolling into the water, be falls into the bear's 
clutches ; if, on the contrary ,.he lies still, his destroyer 
makes a powerful spring, kills him on the ice, and 
devours him at leisure." Captain Sir Edward Belcher, 
in his interesting work entitled "The Last of the' 
Arctic Voyages," also gives an amusing description of 
the performances of a female polar bear, whose antics 
seemed to have for their object the capture of a seal 
by another shrewd expedient. On the first day of June, 
1853, he writes:" We pushed on for Tongue Point, 
and there pitched. More bears ! I was busy on the 
Point with the instrument, watching for an object, 
when I noticed a lady and her cub, amusing them- 
selves, as I imagined, at a game of romps, but the old 
lady was evidently the more excited. Possibly no such 

opportunity has before been afforded to any naturalist 
of witnessing quietly the humours or habits of these 
animals. At first the motions of the mother appeared 
to me as ridiculously absurd, or as if she was teaching 
her cub to perform a summerset, or something nearly 
approaching it; but the cub evinced no interest, no 
participation in the sport, indeed moved off and lay 
down, apparently to sleep. The antics, too, of the 
mother were too distant from the cub to prove instruc- 
tive. I will endeavour to convey my impression of 
the exhibition, as viewed through the telescope at a 
distance of a quarter of a mile, as well as the object on 
which she appeared intent. It must first be borne in 
mind, that a bear of such dimensions as that before me 
would weigh about six and a half or seven hundred- 
weight. The object apparently in view was to break a 
hole in the ice. In order to effect this the claws were 
first put in requisition, and as nimbly and gracefully as 
a dog did the huge creature tear up and scatter snow 
and ice to the winds ; having removed as she imagined 
sufficient, she then appeared to estimate her distance, 
calculate on her leap, and in the effort came down 
perpendicularly on her fore-paws over the spot which 
she had scratched. Something, she imagined, had 
been effected. She continued to repeat this scratching 
and amusing mode of pounding until at length she 
appeared satisfied, when she assumed an attitude of 
' dead point, 1 with fore-paw raised, and remained for 
some time immovable. The question occurred to me, 
' Is this a mode, by concussion and making a hole, of 
seducing a seal within gripe?' for I have repeatedly 
noticed that when we cut for tide-hole, fire-hole, &c.. 
that these inquisitive animals will show themselves. 
This, however, I leave for others to verify." After 
this, an unsuccessful attempt was made to get within 
shot, but both mother and cub made their escape. Sir 
E. Belcher does not state whether he minutely exam- 
ined the spot thus signalized, to ascertain if any 
injury had been done to the ice ; nevertheless, bis 
observations have very great interest, and the correct- 
ness of his conjecture is placed almost beyond a doubt. 
The female bear, as we have just seen, is very careful 
over her cubs ; these, if taken while still very young, 
may be successfully tamed. The following incident, 
however, shows the necessity of caution : An English 
officer, while stationed at one of the more remote and 
lonely fortresses of Canada, amused himself by taming 
a young polar bear. He succeeded in teaching the 
little cub to fetch and carry, and its behaviour was so 
unexceptionable that the animal was allowed to share 
his master's meals, and to follow at his heels when out 
for a walk. On returning to this country, the ursine 
pet accompanied the officer on board ship, and soon 
acquired the unreserved confidence of the passengers 
and crew, and by his facetious antics afforded them 
much pleasure and diversion. In a very short time, as 
is frequently the habit with domesticated animals, he 
showed a particular liking for children of the female 
sex, and singled one out as an especial favourite ; the 
little girl, who was a daughter of one of the lady pas- 
sengers, reciprocated the bear's attentions, and the 
loving pair daily romped about the deck with ecstatic 
delight. This fun. however, was after a time destined 



to be suddenly changed into sorrow, for on one occa- 
sion during their gambols, the animal, without giving 
any previous indication of his purpose, suddenly seized 
the young lady by the waist, and before the astonished 
crew and half-distracted parent could do aught to 
arrest his progress he was half way up the rigging; 
neither did he rest till he had gained the maintop ! 
Doubtless, many of our readers have heard of an elope- 
ment down, but, perhaps, never up a ladder of ropes ! 
But the matter is too serious for a joke ! What is to 
be done? The mother cries! the child screams! 
and the bear recommences its antics ! A moment's 
delay may render all chance of escape hopeless ! 
Alarm and consternation fill every breast ! Shall the 
sailors ascend the rigging, and by united force tear 
the frail captive from its arms? If the bear should 
at any moment relinquish its hold, the poor child 
must be dashed in pieces ! Bravo ! a bright idea 
has struck the captain ! See with what alacrity his 
orders are obeyed ! Mattrasses and pillows are placed 
around the mast, in case the child should fall, while 
numerous lumps of sugar are piled together on the 
deck ! Hurrah ! the saccharine dainty cannot be 
resisted ! Down comes Bruin, carefully bringing the 
captive with him ! Once more, hurrah ! Mother and 
bear are satisfied! The child is released the sugar 
devoured ! It is almost needless to add, that during the 
rest of the voyage, the animal was entirely deprived of 
his sadly-abused liberty. In regard to the capture and 
destruction of full-grown polar bears in the wild state, 
early writers have always described such attempts as 
extremely dangerous; these accounts have probably 
been exaggerated, but there can be no doubt that in 
recent times the danger has been materially lessened 
by the introduction of longer-ranged and more destruc- 
tive fire-arms. The polar bear seldom quits the regions 
of eternal ice and snow ; nevertheless he is sometimes 
observed drifting out to sea on floating icebergs ; by 
this means he makes excursions to very considerable 
distances, and has been observed by Captain Scoresby 
upwards of two hundred miles from the shore. As 
many as a dozen have come over from West Greenland 
and landed on the coast of Iceland during a single 
winter season. Captain Parry, when passing through 
Barrow's Strait, encountered a polar bear swimming 
vigorously in the open sea, although at the time the 
animal was fully forty miles from any coast, and there 
were no traces of floating ice in any direction. Speci- 
mens of this animal have always constituted an attrac- 
tive feature in our menageries, and, notwithstanding 
the unsuitable character of this climate, they seem to 
live pretty comfortably. A few years since one of the 
very fine specimens kept in the Zoological Gardens at 
Edinburgh gave birth to a solitary cub, but it very soon 


Not only are the weasels, properly so called, placed 
under this head, but also numerous genera, whose rela- 
tions are so closely allied to the foregoing family that 
they are grouped by some naturalists with the Ursidoe, 
and by others with the present family. On this point 

we purposely adhere to the Cuvierian arrangement, as 
far as circumstances permit. The Mustelidse, as we 
have retained the genus, are either semi-plantigrade or 
to a greater or less extent digitigrade that is to say, 
they are supported on the tips of their toes during pro- 
gression. The feet are five-toed or pentadactylous, 
the claws being fixed or non-retractile. They have 
elongated, slim, and cylindrical bodies ; it is on account 
of this long vermiform or worm-like character that the 
majority of them are called vermin, though to the 
popular mind that term rather expresses the idea of 
certain noxious qualities, altogether independent of its 
etymological signification. The limbs of Mustelidse 
are short. The head is rounded and narrowed ante- 
riorly, out that part of the skull containing the brain is 
considerably extended ; so that the space between the 
sockets and the posterior margin of the cranium, is 
much greater than that which obtains in the higher 
digitigrade Carnivora. The jaws support the usual 
complement of twelve incisors and four canines, whilst 
there are generally four or five molars on either side 
belonging to the upper series, and five or six similarly 
disposed in each division of the lower group. Four of 
these teeth are tuberculated that is, one to each of 
the four divisions of the grinding series above indicated. 
The condyles or articulating extremities of the rami 
of the lower jaw are broad transversely, and com- 
pletely lodged in the corresponding socket called the 
glenoid cavity. The Mustelidse, like the bears, have 
no blind or csecal appendage to the intestine. They 
do not pass the winter in a state of bybernation. 
Their destructive and sanguinary propensities are well 
known ; and members of the family are found in all 
quarters of the globe. Musteline fossil remains occur 
in the bone-caves and osseous breccias of the tertiary 

THE JAVANESE TELEDTJ (Mydaus meliceps). 
Purposely commencing our weasels with this aberrant 
type, more particularly on account of its close relations 
to certain ursine and insectivorous genera, we remark, 
in the first place, that the muzzle is prolonged in the 
form of a proboscis. The grinding teeth are eighteen 
in number, there being twelve spurious and six true 
ones. The laniary, cutting, or carnassial tooth that 
is, the fourth or last premolar tooth, reckoning from 
before backwards supports an accessory central cusp. 
The head is hog-like ; the ears being rudimentary, and 
surrounded by a tuft of long fur. The fur consists o;f 
delicate hairs, which are more or less blackish-brown 
throughout, except on the central line of the back, on 
the top of the head, and at the end of the tail, which 
latter is only half an inch in length, not taking into 
consideration the long hairs projecting beyond the 
skin. The body measures about fifteen inches. The 
limbs are short, thick, and semi-plantigrade, the com- 
pressed and rather straight claws being united at the 
base by a sheathing membrane. The teledu emits a 
most horrible odour, as the author of this article can 
abundantly confirm, from having had a specimen placed 
in his hands for dissection and preservation. The 
intolerable stench arises from the secretion of a pecu- 
liar matter by two oval glands situated at the posterior 
part of the body, and opening into the intestine near 




the vent. The animal has the power of ejecting this 
secretion to a distance of about two feet. " The fetid 
matter itself is of a viscid nature ; its effects depend on 
its great volatility, and they spread through a great 
extent ; the entire neighbourhood of a village is infected 
by the odour of an irritated teledu, and in the imme- 
diate vicinity of the discharge it is so violent as in 
some persons to produce syncope." Dr. Horsfield gives 
the following admirable account of its habits and sin- 
gular geographical distribution: "The teledu is 
confined exclusively to those mountains which have 
an elevation of more than seven thousand feet above 
the level of the ocean ; on these it occurs with the 
same regularity as many plants. The long-extended 
surface of Java, abounding with conical points which 
exceed this elevation, afford many places favourable 
for its resort. On ascending these mountains, the 
traveller scarcely fails to meet with our animal, which, 
from its peculiarities, is universally known to the inha- 
bitants of these elevated tracts ; while to those of the 
plains, it is as strange as an animal from a foreign 
country. A traveller would inquire in vain for the 
teledu at Batavia, Seraarang, or Surabaya. In my 
visits to the mountainous districts, I uniformly met 
with it; and, as far as the information of the natives 
can be relied on, it is found on all the mountains. 
Most of these mountains and ridges furnish 
tracts of considerable extent fitted for the cultivation 
of wheat and other European grains. . . . These 
grounds and plantations are laid out in the deep vege- 
table mould, where the teledu holds its range as the 
most ancient inhabitant of the soil. In its rambles in 
search of food, this animal frequently enters the plan- 
tations, and destroys the roots of young plants ; in this 
manner it causes extensive injury, and on the Tengger 
Hills particularly, "where these plantations are more 
extensive than in other elevated tracts, its visits are 
much dreaded by the inhabitants. It burrows in the 
earth with its nose in the same manner as hogs, and in 
traversing the hills its nocturnal toils are observed in 
the morning in small ridges of mould recently turned 
up. The mydaus forms its dwelling at a slight depth 
beneath the surface, in the black mould, with consider- 
able ingenuity. Having selected a spot, defended 
above by the roots of a large tree, it constructs a cell 
or chamber ot a globular form, having a diameter of 
several feet, the sides of which it makes perfectly 
smooth and regular; this it provides with a subter- 
raneous conduit or avenue about six feet in length, the 
external entrance to which it conceals with twigs and 
dry leaves. During the day it remains concealed, like 
a badger in its hole ; at night it proceeds in search of 
its food, which consists of insects and their larvae, and 
of worms of every kind. It is particularly fond of the 
lumbrici, or earthworms, which abound in the fertile 
moulds. These animals, agreeably to the information 
of the natives, live in pairs, and the female produces 
two or three young at a birth. The motions of the 
mydaus are slow, and it is easily taken by the natives, 
who by no means fear it. During my abode on the 
mountain Prahu, I engaged them to procure me indi- 
viduals for preparation ; and, as they received a desir- 
able reward, they brought them to me daily in greater 

numbers than I could employ. Whenever the natives 
surprise them suddenly, they prepare them for food ; 
the flesh is then scarcely impregnated with the offensive 
odour, and is described as very delicate. The animals 
are generally in excellent condition, as their food 
abounds in the fertile moulds. . . The mydaus is 
not ferocious in its manners; and taken young, like 
the badger, it might be easily tamed. An individual 
which 1 kept, some time in confinement afforded me an 
opportunity of observing its disposition ; it soon became 
gentle and reconciled to its situation, and did not at 
any time emit the offensive fluid. I carried it with me 
from Mountain Prahu to Blederan, a village on the 
declivity of that mountain where the temperature was 
more moderate. While a drawing was made, the ani- 
mal was tied to a small stake ; it moved about quietly, 
burrowing the ground with its snout and feet, as if in 
search of food, without taking notice of the bystanders, 
or making violent efforts to disengage itself. On earth- 
worms being brought, it ate voraciously ; holding one 
extremity of a worm with its claws, its teeth were 
employed in tearing the other. Having consumed 
about ten or twelve, it became drowsy, and making a 
small groove in the earth, in which it placed its snout, 
it composed itself deliberately, and was soon sound 

THE NYENTEK (Helictis moscliatus) is a rarer 
animal than the teledu, and more circumscribed in its 
geographical area of distribution. It is about sixteen 
inches in length, not including the tail, which measures 
six inches more ; this organ is bushy, terminating in 
long thick hairs. The head is small, gradually narrow- 
ing into an obtusely-pointed muzzle. The jaws are 
furnished with twenty-two molars, the tuberculated 
pair above being small and widened transversely. The 
nostrils are notched at the side. The moustaches are 
few in number, long, and bristly. The ears are com- 
paratively large; the eyes being rather prominent. The 
limbs are thin, terminating in five-toed plantigrade feet. 
The claws are shorter than those of the teledu, and 
are more strongly curved. This animal, says Dr. 
Horsfield, who described it as a species of Gulo, " is 
somewhat smaller than the English pole-cat. The 
form of its body, in comparison with other gluttons-, is 
rather slender; it is thickly covered with fur, consisting 
of long hairs closely arranged, silky at the base, of a 
brown colour and somewhat glossy, with a slight tint 
of reddish-brown ; in certain lights it appears diversi- 
fied, greyish, and tawny. This fur covers the greatest 
part of the body and head, and the whole of the tail 
and extremities ; the colour of these parts is conse- 
quently brown, with occasional shades of rufous and 
tawny; the sides of the head, the neck, the throat, 
breast, and a broad spot on the top of the head, which 
passes, gradually decreasing in breadth, to the middle 
of the back, are white, with an obscure tint of Isabella 
yellow of different degrees of intensity. This colour 
also exists, less distinct, in a longitudinal band along 
the lowest part of the abdomen." Little or nothing is 
known of this animal's habits, which are thought by 
Dr. Horsfield to be similar to those of the ratel. 

THE SKUNK (Mephitis americana), Plate 10, fig. 
33. Various species of skunk have been described, 



but most of them appear referable to this species. The 
true skunks are confined to the American coutinent. 
Accepting Sir John Richardson's description, the skunk 
very closely resembles the wolverene. The body is 
stoutish, and stands low ; the eyes being small, and 
the ears short and rounded. " A narrow white mesial 
line runs from the tip of the nose to the occiput, where 
it dilates into a broad white mark. It is again narrowed, 
and continues so until it passes the shoulders, when it 
forks, the branches running along the sides, and becom- 
ing much broader as they recede from each other. 
They approach posteriorly and unite on the rump, 
becoming at the same time narrower. In some few 
specimens the white stripes do not unite behind, but 
disappear on the flanks. The black dorsal space 
included by the stripes is egg-shaped, the narrow end 
of which is towards the shoulders. The sides of the 
head and all the under parts are black. The hair on 
the body is long. The tail is covered with very long 
haire, and has generally two broad longitudinal white 
stripes above on a black ground. Sometimes the black 
and white colours of the tail are regularly mixed. Its 
under surface is black. The claws on the fore-feet are 
very strong and long, being fitted for digging, and very 
unlike those of the martens." The jaws are provided 
with eighteen molar teeth, the upper laniary grinder 
being remarkably large. Respecting the habits of the 
skunk, which has obtained such notoriety on account 
of the nauseating smell emitted from the glands previ- 
ously alluded to, the same distinguished naturalist 
writes : " It exists in the rocky and woody parts of 
the country, but is still more frequent in the clumps of 
wood which sketch the sandy plains of Seskatchewan. 
I have not been able to ascertain the southern range 
of this variety of skunk [from Hudson's Bay] ; and, 
judging from Kahn's description, there appears to be a 
different one in Canada. The skunk passes its winter 
in a hole, seldom stirring abroad, and then only for a 
short distance. It preys on mice, and in summer has 
been observed to feed much on frogs. It has a slow 
gait, and can be overtaken without difficulty, for it 
makes but a poor attempt to escape, putting its trust 
apparently in its power of discomfiting its pursuers by 
the discharge of a noisome fluid. This fluid, which is 
of a deep yellow colour, and is contained in a small 
bag placed at the root of the tail, emits one of the most 
powerful stenches in nature, and so durable that the 
spot where a skunk has been killed will retain the 
taint for many days. Mr. Graham says that he knew 
several Indians who lost their eyesight in consequence 
of inflammation produced by this fluid having been 
thrown into them by the animal, which has the power 
of ejecting it to a distance of upwards of four feet. I 
have known a dead skunk thrown over the stockades 
of a trading port, which produced instant nausea in 
several women, in a house with closed doors upwards 
of a hundred yards distant. The odour had some 
resemblance to that of garlic, although much more 
disagreeable. One may, however, soon become fami- 
liarized with it; for, notwithstanding the disgust it 
produces at first, I have managed to skin a couple of 
recent specimens by recurring to the task at intervals. 
When care is taken not to soil the carcase with any of 

the strong smelling fluid, the meat is considered by the 
natives to be excellent food." These observations 
agree for the most part with those of Catesby, who 
says : " When one of them is attacked by a dog, to 
appear formidable it so changes its usual form, by 
bristling up its hairs and contracting its length into a 
round form, that it makes a very terrible appearance. 
This menacing behaviour, however insufficient to deter 
its enemy, is seconded by a repulse far more prevail- 
ing ; for from some secret duct it emits such fetid 
effluvia that the atmosphere, for a large space around, 
shall be so infected with it that men and other animals 
are impatient till they are quit of it. The stench is 
insupportable to some dogs, and necessitates them to 
let their game escape ; others, by thrusting their noses 
into the earth, renew their attacks till they have killed 
it ; but rarely care to have more to do with such 
noisome game, which for four or five hours distracts 
them. The Indians, notwithstanding, esteem their 
flesh a dainty, of which I have eaten and found it well 
tasted. I have known them brought up young, made 
domestic, and prove tame and very active, without 
exercising that faculty which fear and self-preservation 
perhaps only prompt them to." Like its congeners, 
the skunk does not entirely confine itself to an animal 
diet, vegetable matters, especially fruit, being sought in 
the absence of small quadrupeds, frogs, and insects. 
The female produces from six to ten young at a birth. 
In the Catalogue of Mammalia preserved in the British 
Museum, this species is called by Dr. Gray Mephitis 

THE GBISON (Galictis vittata). The members of 
the genus Galictis originally established by Mr. Bell, 
are characterized by the possession of eighteen molar 
teeth, of which ten are spurious, four of them belonging 
to the upper series and six to the lower. The body is 
much elongated, terminating in sub-plantigrade penta- 
dactylous feet, their palms and soles being naked. The 
tail is of moderate length. In the species under con- 
sideration " the colours are very remarkable, and the 
markings distinct and decided (fig. 23). The whole of 
the upper part of the head, the neck, the back, the flank, 
and the tail, are yellowish-light or brownish-grey, pro- 
duced by the mixture of a dirty yellowish-white with 
brownish-black for about two-thirds of their length ; 
the tip, dirty or yellowish-white. The muzzle, the 
cheeks, the throat, the under part of the neck, the 
belly, the anterior legs, and the hinder feet, are black, 
with a brownish tinge lighter towards the back part, 
and on the belly interspersed with a few whitish hairs. 
The grey of the upper, and the black of the under 
parts, are separated by a rather broad fascia (or band), 
extending on each side from the centre of the forehead 
above the eye, backwards as far as the shoulder, 
including the ears ; this fascia is of a buff or yellowish- 
white colour." Respecting its habits, Mr. Bell also 
records the following interesting particulars. In his 
" History of British Quadrupeds," he says : " A tame 
grison (Galictis vittata) which I possessed for several 
years, was very fond of frogs, but these were not the 
only reptiles which were obnoxious to its voracity. On 
one occasion, in the winter, I had placed it in its cage, 
in a room with a fire, where I had also two young 



alligators, which in general were stupidly tame. On 
goug into the room in the morning, I found the grison 
at large, and one of the alligators dead, with a hole 
eaten under the fore-leg, where the great nerves and 
bloodve&sels were torn through ; and the other alligator 
began snapping furiously at every one who attempted 
to approach it." The same eminent naturalist else- 
where remarks that this grison " was as tame and 

affectionate as a dog ; and she followed me," he adds, 
" wherever I went about the house, was extremely 
frolicsome and playful, and was delighted at being 
caressed. She would throw herself on her back, and 
seize the hand that fondled her with all four of her 
paws and her mouth at the same moment, pressing it 
with her teeth, but never sufficiently hard to cause the 
slightest degree of pain. She was extremely fond of 


The Grison (Galictis vittata) 

eggs, which she ate in a very singular manner. On 
one being given her, she first played with it for some 
time, running backwards and at the same time pushing 
it under her belly with her fore-feet. At length she 
would fix one of her sharp canine teeth through the 
shell, and lick or suck as much of the contents as 
would flow through the orifice. Then, again inserting 
her tooth, a piece of the shell was broken out so as to 
enable her to insert her tongue ; and, finally, the egg- 
shell was broken to pieces and each fragment carefully 
licked clean." The grison is an inhabitant of the 
northern regions of Brazil, the specimens hitherto seen 
in this country having been brought from Guiana and 
Paraguay. A brief, but very accurate description of a 
fine example captured by Mr..EdmonstonatDemerara, 
is described by Dr. Traill in the third volume of the 
Wernerian Society's Transactions. It measured nearly 
three feet in length, including the tail which gave nine 
inches. In the list of Mustelidse preserved in the 
British Museum, this species is denominated Grissonia 

ALLAMAND'S GRISON (Galictis Allamandi), ap- 
pears to be a well-marked form. Mr. Bell has given a 
beautiful figure of it, accompanied with another of the 
above, in the second volume of the Transactions of the 
Zoological Society. According to his description, 
"this species, though evidently distinct from the former, 
exhibits the same general character of colour and 
marking, with some remarkable differences, however, 
which, though not easily expressed in a specific phrase, 
are tangible and important. The whole of those parts 

which in the former species are yellowisn, arc here per- 
fectly white ; and those which are blackish-brown in 
the former, are in this pure black. The basal portion 
of the hairs on the back, therefore, is black, and the 
apical quite white, forming a pure blackish-grey or 
black, with white points and lines, whilst all the under 
parts of the throat and part of the belly are black. 
The fascia extending from the forehead to the sides 
of the neck is also white. This fascia does not extend 
in the specimen described so far back as in the former 
species. The hairs of the whole body are very short 
in comparison, and much stiffer and more closely set. 
The animal is considerably larger, and the tail, as' far 
as can be ascertained from a stuffed specimen, short in 
proportion." As in the foregoing, its habits correspond 
with those of the weasels generally. 

THE ZOBILLA (Zorilla striata). Several forms de- 
scribed under the generic title of Zorilla, are probably 
merely varieties of one and the same species. Perhaps 
two or three of them may fairly be regarded as distinct 
Their differentiation obtains chiefly in respect of coloui 
and other superficial characters, which, however, are 
in too many instances the only distinctions the zoolo- 
gist can rely on, as he may have none other to guide 
him. The zorilla, known to the colonists at the Cape 
of Good Hope by the name of muishond, possesses 
eighteen molar teeth, four being placed on either side 
above, and five correspondingly opposed on each side 
below. The prepared skeleton exhibits five vertebral 
segments in the lumbar region of the spine, while there 
are no less than fifteen pair of ribs. The fur is of o 


black colour generally ; but there are four whitish 
bands, which, commencing at the neck, pass in a back- 
ward direction, gradually diverging from one another. 
This character has suggested the specific name above 
given. There is also a white spot on the upper part 
of the head. The zorilla is not confined to the Cape 
of Mozambique, but is still found in Nubia, Abyssinia, 
and other parts of the African continent. Its habits 
are similar to those of the skunk. It is also known 
under the title of Mephitis africana. 

THE SABLE (Martcs leucopus.} The various mem- 
bers of the genus Martes, differ from the true weasels 
generally, by the possession of '* an additional false 
molar above and below," whilst they have also a small 
tubercle on the inner side of their sectoral tooth. 
These two characters tend to diminish the ferocity of 
their nature ; or, rather, they indicate by analogical 
and correlative evidence, that such a subcarniyorous 
disposition exists in accordance with their modified 
dental arrangements. Their habits- and general ap- 
pearance entirely correspond with these structural 
peculiarities. They are pretty and attractive little 
animals, having large bushy tails. The martens have 
larger ears than the weasels, and their habits are more 
arboreal, while the odour emitted by them is not 
offensive. Much controversy has arisen as to the 
specific distinctions of various kinds of marten. Thus, 
by some the sable, the pine marten, and the beech 
marten have been considered as mere varieties of a 
single species ; that is to say, they are supposed to 
have originated from the same stock, and that stock, in 
all probability, being represented by a single pair. 
This yiew, however, does not appear tenable, and 
after lengthened investigation, the more general opinion 
now received is, that they are different animals ab 
origine. The sable is celebrated for its beautiful fur, 
which is of a yellowish-brown colour, inclining to black. 
The throat is pale yellow ; but it- varies somewhat in 
different individuals. We have here placed the sable 
as a distinct species, in accordance with the opinion of 
some of our highest authorities. 

THE PINE MAKTEN (Martes abietum)Plaie 10, 
fig. 34 if not specifically identical, very closely re- 
sembles the foregoing. The fur is of a comparatively 
inferior quality ; yet it is much superior to that of the 
beech or stone marten. It exists in northern Europe 
and North America, being also indigenous in our own 
country. According to Sir John Richardson's de- 
scription, "the pine marten inhabits the woody districts 
in the northern parts of America, from the Atlantic to 
the Pacific, in great numbers, and has been observed 
to be particularly abundant where the trees have been 
killed by fire, but are still standing. It is very rare, 
as Hearne has remarked, in the district lying north of 
Churchill River and east of Great Slave Lake, known 
' by the name of Chepewyan or Barren Lands. A 
similar district on the Asiatic side of Behring's Straits, 
twenty-five degrees of longitude in breadth, and in- 
habited by the Tchutski, is described by Pennant as 
equally unfrequented by the marten, and for the same 
reason the want of trees. The limit of its northern 
range in America is, like that of the woods, about the 
sixty-eighth degree of latitude, and it is said to be 
VOL. I. 

found as far south as New England. Pariioular races 
of martens, distinguished by the fineness and dark 
colour of their fur, appear to inhabit certain rocky 
districts. The rocky and mountainous, but woody 
districts of the Nipigon, on the north side of Lake 
Superior, has long been noted for its black and valuable 
marten skins. The marten preys on mice, hares, and 
partridges, and in summer on small birds' eggs, &c. 
A partridge's head with the feathers, is the best bait 
for the log traps in which this animal is taken. It 
does not reject carrion, and often destroys the hoards 
of meat and fish laid up by the natives, when they 
have accidentally left a crevice by which it can enter. 
The marten, when its retreat is cut off, shows its teeth, 
sets up its hair, arches its back, and makes a hissing 
noise, like a cat. It will seize a dog by the nose, and 
bite so hard, that unless the latter is accustomed to the 
combat, it suffers the little animal to escape. It may 
be easily tamed, and it soon acquires an attachment to 
its master ; but it never becomes docile. Its flesh is 
occasionally eaten, though it is not prized by the 
Indians. The females are smaller than the males. 
They burrow in the ground, carry their young about 
six weeks, and bring forth from four to seven in a 
litter about the latter end of April." The dark- 
coloured furs are deemed the most valuable, and they 
are in the best condition during the winter season. 
Respecting the distinctions observable between this 
species and the beech marten, Mr. Bell observes, that 
" the most striking and obvious differences are those of 
colour ; but as these appear, in some cases at least, to 
be associated with certain slight diversities in size and 
proportion, and as the habits of the two animals also 
offer a trifling variation, there appears to be some, 
though far from satisfactory ground, for considering 
them as specifically distinct. The pine marten is so 
called from its supposed preference for the fruits of 
those trees, as the other is called by some the beech 
marten, from a similar pretended preference for beech 
woods. There is, however, no ground for this appro- 
priation of the two species to these different localities." 
The nest is made of moss, leaves, and other vegetable 
matters. A full-grown individual of the male sox 
measures about twenty inches, the females being rather 

THE BEECH MAKTEN (Martes foino), is also called 
the common marten, and by traders it is more usually 
designated the stone marten. Its fur is inferior to that 
of the preceding species, and it is sometimes passed off 
unfairly for the skin of the true sable. An experienced 
eye, however, readily detects the fraud, noticing the 
absence of lustre, softness, and other essential qualities. 
The beech marten is about eighteen inches long, not 
including the tail, which alone measures upwards of 
nine inches. The head is rounded and broad pos- 
teriorly, narrowing in front into an acute and slightly 
projecting muzzle. The ears are comparatively large, 
oval, and a little pointed. The body is thin, cylin- 
drical, and very mobile, terminating in a thick bushy 
tail. The fur is for the most part brown, being darker 
in some parts than in others. It is deeper-coloured on 
the back, limbs, and tail. On the throat or under 
part of the neck it is white. The beech marten is a 


native of the British isles, as well as of Europe generally. 
It occurs abundantly in rocky mountainous districts, 
and is perhaps less strictly arboreal in its habits than 
the pine marten. According to 
Mr. Bell, "the female makes hei 
nest generally in a hollow tree, but 
not uufrequently in holes in rocks, 
sometimes in ruined buildings, 
or even in grananes and barns. It 
is formed of straw or grass. She 
has at least two litters in a year 
some assert, four and the number 
of young ones at each birth varies 
from two to seven, the usual number 
being four or five, The aspect and 
attitudes of the marten are perhaps 
more elegant than those of any 
other of our native quadrupeds. 
Endowed with great liveliness and 
activity, its movements are at once 
rapid and gracile. Its limbs are elastic, and its body 
lithe and flexible, and it bounds and springs over the 
ground with equal speed and grace. It is, however, 
wild and untameable to a great degree, if captured 
when full grown or after a very early age." The food 
of the beech marten, in common with its allied forms, 
consists of birds, squirrels, and other small quadrupeds. 
THE PEKAN (Maries Canadiensis) of the Canadians, 
is known by the title of the Fisher or fishing marten, 
and it has likewise several other names. It presents a 
more canine look about the face than the sable or 
other martens. The head is rounded posteriorly, con- 
tracting suddenly in front to terminate in a rather 
sharply-pointed muzsle. The ears are comparatively 
small. It is a stouter -built animal than the pine 
marten. The fore-limbs are remarkably strong and 
short, the claws of the feet being sharp and much 
curved. As in the pine marten, the soles of the feet 
are completely enveloped in closely-set hairs, the 
several digits being connected together at their common 
base by a short, web-like expansion of the skin. The 
fur is rather coarse, and of a dark-brown colour, 
lighter at the fore part of the body, but almost black 
behind, aa well as on the throat, belly, and limbs. 
White spots are occasionally seen between the fore and 
hind legs. The. fur has a strong musky odour, and its 
quality is inferior to that of the sable. Although less 
sought after by the American fur-dealers, several 
thousand pekans are destroyed annually for the sake 
of their skins. Sir John Richardson states that it 
feeds principally on mice. He adds " It lives in the 
woods, preferring damp, places in the vicinity of water, 
in which respect it differs from the marten, which is 
generally found in the driest spots of the pine forests. 
The fisher is said to prey much on frogs in the summer 
season ; but I have been informed that its favourite 
food is the Canada porcupine, which it kills by biting 
on the belly. It does not seek its food in the water, 
although, like the pine marten, it will feed on the 
hoards of frozen fish laid up by the residents." The 
pekan is widely distributed over the upper half of the 
North American continent. The female produces from 
two to four young at a single litter. 

THE POLECAT (Mustela putorius) or foumart is a 
most ferocious creature (fig. 24). " Its appetite for 
slaughter, which seems never to be satiated as long as 

Tke Polecat (Musttla put 

any living thing remains within its reach, rendering it 
a most ruinous neighbour to those who rear fowls or 
keep up a head of game. Not only the young birds 
fall victims to it, but the parents also ; nor are even 
geese or turkeys safe. We remember an instance of a 
hen and a whole brood of chickens being killed by one 
of these destroyers in a single night ; and upon another 
occasion, seven or eight nearly full-grown turkeys. 
The brain and the blood seem to be its choicest por- 
tions. The bodies of the dead are carried off to its 
haunts, which are generally in some copse or wood 
near a farm or in the heart of a preserve, whence it 
issues on its deadly errand in the evening, generally 
soon after sunset, or when it grows dusk. No vermin 
is placed with more satisfaction upon the keeper's 
tree ; for none commits more havoc, if so much, among 
the game. Beginning with the egg, it persecutes all 
the game birds through every period of life, and is a 
far more determined enemy than the stoat itself to the 
hare and; rabbit warren. The fox, as is well known, 
will do much to keep down the pheasants, and espe- 
cially the rabbits and hares ; but even this wily and 
powerful invader is not so mischievous as the species 
of which we are treating. Where a fox will kill one, 
a polecat will immolate ten, to say nothing of eggs. 
No vertebrated animal seems to come amiss to its 
murderous nature. Bewick relates that during a 
severe storm, a foumart was traced in the snow from 
the side of a rivulet to its hole at some distance from 
it. As it was observed to have made frequent trips, 
and as other marks were to be seen in the snow which 
could not easily be accounted for, it was thought a 
matter worthy of great attention. Its hole was accord- 
ingly examined, and five fine eels were discovered to 
be the fruit of its nocturnal excursions. The marks 
in the snow were made by the motion of the eels in the 
quadruped's mouth. In London's Magazine ia an 
account of a polecat that was hunted to her nest, 
which held five young ones in a comfortable bed of 
withered grass. From a side hole the narrator picked 
out forty large frogs and two toads alive, but capable 
of sprawling only ; for the old polecat had stricken 
them ah 1 with palsy by a bite through the brain of 



each." Such is Mr. Ogilby's account of its depreda- 
tions ; and there are few of us who have resided in the 
country that cannot testify to its accuracy. The pole- 
cat is a larger and stouter-built animal than the marten. 
Its body rather exceeds two feet in length, not includ- 
ing the tail, which measures only six inches. The 
head and neck are comparatively stout and thick. 
The fur is of a dark-brown colour, approaching black. 
There is, however, a considerable difference of shade, 
depending upon the greater or less abundance of 
short woolly hairs, having a pale brown colour. The 
lips and cheeks are more or less whitish. The odour 
given out by the polecat has a very disagreeable smell. 
It is produced by a fatty substance secreted by a gland 
situated beneath the tail. The fur, though of com- 
paratively small value, is sold under the name of fitch; 
hence the term fitchet weasel, another name by which 
this animal is known. The female produces towards 
the close of the spring, or in early summer, a litter of 
five or six young. The nest is made either in a rabbit 
burrow or in some similar snug retreat, among stones 
and rocks covered over with long grass, tangled herb- 
age, or low brushwood. 

The common ferret is considered by most naturalists 
to be a mere domesticated variety of the polecat. It 
exhibits every shade of hue from that of a pale 
yellowish-white up to a dark fulvous brown, and it is 
most frequently somewhat variegated. Its habits are 
similar to those of the wild animal, and they will freely 
breed together. The ferret, however, can hardly be 
considered a tame creature, in the strict meaning of 
the term ; for, as most of us have observed, its disposi- 
tion is exceedingly capricious, and in handling ferrets, 
as every rat-catcher knows, a certain degree of bold- 
ness and caution are necessary. The following sad 
story, taken from Mr. Jesse's " Gleanings in Natural 
History," illustrates its truly carnivorous and sangui' 
vorous propensities. " Some few years ago, a poor 
woman, holding a mangled infant in her arms, rushed 
screaming with agony and fright into my friend's 
house, who is a surgeon, imploring him to save the 
child's life, who, she said, had been almost killed by a 
ferret. The face, neck, and arms were dreadfully 
lacerated, the jugular vein had been opened, as also 
the temporal artery. The eyes were greatly injured, 
and indeed the child, who is still living, has lost the 
entire sight of one of them, and has very imperfect 
vision in the other. Having stopped the still bleeding 
vessels, my friend accompanied the mother to her cot- 
tage, on entering which the child, in some degree 
recovering from its state of apparent death, began to 
cry, when the ferret was in an instant seen rushing 
from behind some basins where he had taken shelter, 
and with his head erect, boldly came forward and met 
the infuriated parent in the middle of the room, still 
holding the infant in her arms. On my friend's kick- 
ing the ferret, as the first impulse of protection, the 
animal endeavoured to seize his leg, and not until his 
(the ferret's) back was broken by repeated kicks, did 
he give over his earnest and reiterated attempts to 
renew his sanguinary feast ; and indeed, whilst in the 
agonies of death, the piteous screams of the child 
seemed to rouse him to vain efforts to regain his prey. 

The ferret was of large growth and much distended 
with the infant's blood ; and though formerly of pecu- 
liar shyness, yet he lost sight of fear and became bold 
in the pursuit of the unfortunate infant. It appears 
the poor woman had left her child (about six months 
old) in a cradle, whilst she went to market, when 
it is supposed the infant's cry had arrested the 
attention of the ferret, who managed to make his 
escape, and thus effected his purpose* There is good 
reason to believe he must have passed more than half 
an hour in the indulgence of his appetite, from the 
circumstance of the neighbours having heard the 
piercing shrieks of the child a long time without the 
slightest suspicion of the mother's absence." Finally, 
we have only to remark, that the method of employing 
ferrets for the capture of rabbits, rats, and other vermin 
is too well known to require more than a passing 
allusion. In the majority of cases it is advisable to 
use a muzzle ; otherwise the ferret is very apt, after 
having feasted on its prey, to lay up in the burrow, 
and disappoint the sportsman. This remark applies 
more particularly in the case of rabbit hunting. 

THE EEMINE OR STOAT (Mustela erminea) is a 
much smaller species. The body is scarcely ten inches 
long, exclusive of the tail; this organ is four and a 
half inches in length, slightly bushy towards the tip, 
the hairs of which are invariably black. In the sum- 
mer the fur is rufous-brown on the back, and white 
underneath from the chin to the root of the tail. In 
the winter the entire fur becomes white, with the 
exception of the tail ; and this change is brought about, 
not by an alteration of the colour of the summer hairs, 
as some have supposed, but by the development of 
new and white hairs in the autumn to supply the place 
of the falling coloured ones. It is this metamorphosis 
of the fur which renders the ermine so valuable in 
commerce. From the North of Europe and Siberia 
several hundred thousand skins are exported annually 
to various parts of the world a large proportion of 
them being transmitted to this country. Every one is 
familiar with the pure, white, glossy texture of ermine 
tippets, boas, and other robes, whose pure snow-white 
ground- work is beset and adorned with a regularly- 
disposed series of quincunxially -arranged tails, forming 
a striking contrast by their rich jet black colour. Such 
are the leading characteristics of the fur. With regard 
to this animal's habits, Mr. Bell observes that they 
vary " from those of the weasel, principally with rela- 
tion to the difference of size. Although much more 
destructive than that animal to poultry and to game, 
the favourite object of its pursuit is the common rat 
and the water-vole, as that of the weasel is the different 
species of mice. Prevented from following the latter 
little pests into their runs, which are often not much 
larger than their own bodies, the stoat leaves such 
small game to its little congener, and betakes itself to 
prey more suited to its own bulk. It occasionally 
attacks hares even half or two-thirds grown, pursuing 
them with the utmost pertinacity, and hunting them 
down by dint of its indefatigable perseverance. The 
Rev. F. W. Hope informs me, that on one occasion, 
when shooting in Shropshire, he heard at a short 
distance the shrill loud scream of a hare, which he 



concluded was just caught in a poacher's springe. On 
running towards the spot from whence the sound pro- 
ceded, he saw a hare limping off greatly distressed, with 
something attached to the side of the throat, which a 
nearer approach showed to be a stoat. The hare made 
its way into the brushwood with its enemy still clinging 
on. It is a curious fact, that the hare, when pursued 
by the stoat, does not betake itself to its natural means 
of escape its fleetness of foot which would in a few 
seconds carry it out of all danger from its little enemy, 
and which it always employs when escaping from the 
chase of dogs or of the fox. On the contrary, it hops 
languidly along, evidently aware of the stoat's approach, 
yet as if incapable of exerting its powers to avoid the 
impending destruction. Whether this arises from a 
stupid indifference, or from not appreciating its danger, 
or, on the other hand, from intense terror, producing 
an effect similar to that miscalled fascination, which 
the small bright eye of the rattlesnake excites in its 
helpless victims, it is perhaps difficult to decide. The 
stoat is certainly one of the boldest animals of its size. 
It pursues its prey with the greatest intrepidity even 
into circumstances of considerable danger, and, like the 
weasel, will follow it into the water. It will also cross 
the water for the purpose of besieging the haunts of 
the water-vole, Arvieola amphibius, of which it destroys 
great numbers. In swimming it lifts the head and 
neck well out of the water, like a dog. It hunts its 
prey by scent." The ermine is comparatively scarcer 
than the weasel in England ; but in Scotland, as Mr. 
Macgillivray remarks, " it is certainly of more frequent 
occurrence than that species; and for one weasel, I 
have seen at least five or six ermines. It frequents 
stony places and thickets, among which it finds a secure 
retreat, as its agility enables it to outstrip even a dog 
in a short race, and the slimuess of its body allows it 
to enter a very small aperture. Patches of furze in 
particular afford it perfect security, and it sometimes 
takes possession of a rabbit's burrow. With regard to 
this little animal's boldness and ferocity of disposition, 
we have not only the testimony of the gentlemen above 
named, but that of many others, including Sir John 
Richardson and Captain Lyon. The author of the 
section of this work at present under consideration, 
can also testify to its combativeness, having once been 
imprudent enough to attempt the capture of a specimen 
without any weapon. The little beast immediately 
fastened itself on his armsleeve, but was fortunately 
dislodged by a violent jerk before its teeth had done 
more than graze the skin. On falling to the ground it 
scampered off to the nearest hedgebauk, and was soon 
out of sight. The ermine is usually caught by very 
simple means, namely, by a trap in the form of a 
heavy stone or slab, which, being delicately supported 
by a thin stick baited with flesh, at the first or second 
nibble suddenly falls and crushes the intruder. Senti- 
mental individuals may be disposed to pity the poor 
little ermines, who are thus mercilessly destroyed to 
serve for the external adornment of the wealthy ; but 
we beg to remind such persons that it were better, 
Avithout warning, to perish like a stoat beneath the 
squash of a brickbat, than to sit round a well-served 
table with a Damoclesian sword suspended over one's 

head. In respect of geographical distribution, the 
ermine is not confined to the eastern hemisphere ; 
for it is also found abundant in North America. 
It is, however, not much sought after by the furriers 
of the Hudson's Bay Company, on account of the large 
supply imported into Britain from Russia and the north 
of Europe, which renders it too cheap for a profitable 
competition. In England the female is said to pro 
duce only four or five young at a single birth ; but, 
according to the Canadian aborigines, it produces in 
America ten or twelve at a litter. The nest is made 
of grass, leaves, and other vegetable matters, and is 
placed in a rat-hole or other forsaken burrow. 

THE WEASEL (Mustela vulgaris). Having dwelt 
at considerable length on the character and habits of 
the stoat, which is so closely related to the present 
species, our observations respecting the weasel will be 
necessarily more restricted. It is a smaller animal, 
the body being about eight and a quarter inches in 
length, not including the tail, which would give us at 
least another two inches. The fur is of a reddish-brown 
colour on the back, head, and tail ; but underneath the 
belly and throat it is quite white. The limbs are short 
and hairy up to the extremities of the digits. As we 
have before remarked, its habits are very similar to 
those of the stoat; but, although generally regarded 
as a highly noxious animal under some circumstances, 
would appear to be extremely useful. Mr. Bell, with 
his usual tact in defending the persecuted of animal 
kind, thus advocates its cause : " It is not meant to 
be asserted that the weasel will not, when driven by 
hunger, boldly attack the stock of the poultry-yard, or 
occasionally make free with a young rabbit or a sleep- 
ing partridge; but that its usual prey is of a much 
more ignoble character, is proved by daily observation. 
Mice of every description, the field and the water-vole, 
rats, moles, and small birds, are its ordinary food ; and 
from the report of unprejudiced observers, it would 
appear that this pretty animal ought rather to be fos- 
tered as a destroyer of vermin, than extirpated as a 
noxious depredator. Above all. it should not be 
molested in barns, ricks, or granaries, in which situa- 
tions it is of great service in destroying the colonies of 
mice which infest them. Those only who have wit- 
nessed the multitudinous numbers in which these little 
pests are found, in wheat ricks especially, and have 
seen the manner in which the interior is sometimes 
drilled, as it were, in every direction by their runs, can 
at all appreciate the amount of their depredations ; and 
surely the occasional abduction of a chicken or a duck- 
ling, supposing it to be even much more frequenth 
chargeable against the weasel than it really is, would 
be but a trifling set-off against the benefit produced 
by the destruction of those swarms of little thieves. 
Like other creatures preying upon animals, the weasel 
itself falls a prey to enemies of superior strength ; and 
instances have also been recorded where its sharp bite 
has enabled it to destroy its more powerful persecutor. 
The flexibility of the body in such cases is shown to 
be of essential service. Mr. Bell gives the following 
story : "As a gentleman of the name of Finder, then 
residing at Bloxworth in Dorsetshire, was riding over 
his grounds, he saw at a short distance from him a kite 

,, I 



pounce on some object on the ground, and rise with 
it in his talons. In a few moments, however, the kite 
began to show signs of great uneasiness, rising rapidly in 
the air, or as quickly falling, and wheeling irregularly 
round, whilst it was evidently endeavouring to force 
some obnoxious thing from it with its feet. After a 
short but sharp contest, the kite fell suddenly to the 
earth, not far from where Mr. Finder was intently 
watching the manoeuvre. He instantly rode up to the 
spot, when a weasel ran away from the kite apparently 
unhurt, leaving the bird dead, with a hole eaten through 
the skin under the wing, and the large bloodvessels 
of the part torn through." Respecting the geographi- 
cal distribution of the weasel, it has a range almost 
coextensive with that of the ermine. Even in this 
country the fur of the weasel has been observed to 
grow whitish on the approach of winter, while in the 
higher American latitudes it usually becomes as white 
as the ermine after the cold season has fairly set in. 
In these cases the tail retains its normal light reddish- 
brown colour. In the spring the female produces 
either four or five young ones at a single birth. 

THE VISON (Vison lutreola).T:h\s species has 
been described under a variety of names, such as the 
vison- weasel, the mink, the minx-otter, and the jackash. 
It is a very common animal throughout Canada and 
the United States, as far south as Carolina. The body 
is nearly a foot and a half in length, exclusive of the 
tail, which would add seven or eight inches more. The 
head is small, terminating anteriorly in a short, flat, 
and abrupt muzzle. The ears are small and oval, the 
eyes being placed well forward. The cheeks are fur- 
nished with very strong, short, brown-coloured whis- 
kers. The jaws are provided with thirty-four teeth, 
of which there are eighteen molars, four on either side 
above, and five correspondingly opposed below. The 
limbs are short, the toes being connected together by a 
membrane and entirely covered with hair; the claws 
are almost straight, and project very slightly. The fur 
is of a rich chocolate brown colour, paler on the head 
and underneath the body, but approaching to black on 
the back towards the tail. Near the root of this latter 
organ there are to be found the usual pair of anal 
glands, which give out a highly fetid secretion. Re- 
specting its habits, Sir John Richardson remarks that 
" the vison passes much of its time in the water, and 
when pursued seeks shelter in that element in prefer- 
ence to endeavouring to escape to land, on which it 
travels slowly. It swims and dives well, and can 
remain a considerable time under water. Its short fur 
forming a smooth glossy coat, its tail exactly like that 
of an otter, and the shortness of its legs, denote its 
aquatic habits. It preys upon small fish, fish-spawn, 
fresh-water mussels, &c., in the summer ; but in the 
winter, when its watery haunts are frozen over, it will 
hunt mice on land, or travel to a considerable distance 
through the snow in search of a rapid or fall, where there 
is still some open water." The same authority further 
observes that the vison " is not very timid when in the 
water, and will approach near to a canoe out of curiosity, 
diving, however, instantly on perceiving the flash of a 
gun, or any movement from whence it apprehends 
d mger. It is easily tamed, and is capable of strong 

attachment. In a domestic state it is observed to sleep 
much in the day, and to be fond of warmth. One 
which I saw in the possession of a Canadian woman, 
passed the day in her pocket, looking out occasionally 
when its attention was roused by any unusual noise. 
Like a cat, a tame visoii is easily offended, and will, ou 
a sudden provocation, bite those who are most kind to 
it." The female produces from four to seven young at 
a birth. The fur is not much valued by traders, never- 
theless it appears to be of good quality, being soft, fine, 
and downy; the principal defect is^ that it is very 

THE OTTER (Lutra mtlgaris}^ Plate 10, fig. 35. 
The genus of which this well-known animal forms a 
type is partly characterized by the possession of thirty- 
six teeth, and of these there are twenty molars, the 
sectorial or laniary grinder of the upper series being 
enormously developed, while the corresponding carnas- 
sials of the lower jaw are tuberculated at the posterior 
half; there are, in all, six true molars one on either 
side of the upper jaw, and two to each divisional series 
below. In all the members of the genus the body is 
much lengthened, and in the species under considera- 
tion it is upwards of two feet long, exclusive of the 
tail, which would add nearly a foot and a half more. 
A full-sized otter will weigh about twenty-four pounds, 
but the naturalist Pennant has recorded one captured 
in the river Lea which weighed as much as forty 
pounds. The head of the common otter is broad and 
compact, and it terminates anteriorly in an abrupt wide 
muzzle, the upper lip being particularly thick and 
overlapping the lower. The ears are small, short, 
rounded, and widely separated ; the eyes are remark- 
ably prominent and placed far forward, about an inch 
from the tip of the nose. The limbs are short, and end in 
palmatedpentadactylousfeet, theseveral digitsbeing con- 
nected together by a strong thick membrane, and they 
are also armed at the tip with short, non-retractile, but 
slightly elevated claws. The tail is flattened from 
above downwards, being immensely strong and broad 
at the root, in which latter situation, below, there occur 
the two usual anal glands similar to those described in 
other musteline genera. The fur is made up of two 
qualities of hair ; the one kind is soft, fine, short, com- 
pact, of a whitish colour, save at the tips, where it 
is brown; the other is long, course, stiff, smooth, 
and somewhat darker externally at the point. This 
combination therefore, is such that, while offering 
little or no resistance to the water during the 
forward progress of the animal, it, at the same time, 
preserves the body from sudden changes 'of tempera- 
ture. In every part of the animal the muscular system 
is very highly developed, and to those who, like our- 
selves, affect to see much that is attractive even in the 
so-called dry details of myological anatomy, we could 
not point out a more beautiful display of muscles than 
such as may be witnessed by a careful dissection of the 
neck of the common otter. In point of fact, this crea- 
ture is exquisitely organized both for rapidity of motion 
through the lambent waters of a rolling stream, and for 
overtaking and seizing the swiftest of its finny prey. 
The spindle-shaped body, elastic to a high degree, and 
bounded by harmonious curves the -projecting eye- 



balls the smooth, close, glossy fur the broad rudder- 
forming tail and the short, web-footed, fin-like limbs, 
all combine to show its singular adaptiveness to the 
fluviatile and lacustrine haunts, where in ceaseless 
activity it despoils the waters of their abounding 
piscine treasures ! Noiselessly it glides through the 
liquid medium, rivalling, surpassing, and overcoming 
the finny tribes ; and one by one the latter fall victims 
to his trenchant grasp ! In succession each captive is 
hurried to the bank, forthwith torn asunder, and the 
head severed in a moment's time ! All this is common 
testimony which none will dispute. The common otter 
is, indeed, extremely voracious, and will destroy an 
incredible quantity of fish ; for, when the latter are 
abundant, he has no sooner detached and devoured the 
head,andit maybe a small additional portion of the body, 
than oft' he starts again, as if for the mere pleasure of the 
chase. Speaking of this animal's habits, Mr. Bell also 
observes that " the otter avails itself of any convenient 
excavation, particularly of the hollows beneath the 
overhanging roots of trees which grow on the banks of 
rivers, or any other secure and concealed hole near its 
fishing haunt ; though in some cases it fixes its retreat 
at some distance from the water, and, when driven by 
a scanty supply of fish, it has been known to resort far 
inland to the neighbourhood of the farmyard, and 
attack lambs, sucking-pigs, and poultry thus assuming 
for a time the habits of its more terrestrial congeners. 
It is asserted by some that the otter confines its haunts 
to the rivers and lakes, never descending to the sea. 
This, however, is a mistake. In the northern parts of 
Scotland they certainly frequent the sea, and extend 
their rambles to a considerable distance from the 
shore ; and Mr. Couch of Polperro, states that " in the 
summer, and when the weather will permit, it occupies 
a retired and quiet station where the land stretches into 
the ocean. It swims low in the water, and will go a 
mile or more after its prey. The neighbourhood of a popu- 
lous harbour is a frequent station. Fishes," continues 
Mr. Couch, "seem to have an instinctive dread of the 
otter; for I am credibly informed that it has been seen to 
collect into a shoal a vast number of trouts in a river, 
and to drive them before until the greater part have 
thrown themselves on shore." The otter has likewise 
its enemies. In former times the sport of otter hunting 
was much sought after in this country, as indeed it 
probably would also be at the present day, if those 
animals were only more abundant. In certain parts of 
Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, otters are still tolerably 
numerous ; but if they were allowed to increase with- 
out any cheek, the more delicate sport of the fly-fisher 
would be seriously compromised. One of the most 
interesting facts connected with this persecuted animal 
is, that with care it may, when taken young, be com- 
pletely domesticated, and not only become an agreeable 
companion, but even lend a hand to its master, should 
he be a fisherman in the ordinary sense of the term. 
In Sweden, the employment of this animal in the cap- 
ture of fish appears to be no uncommon circumstance ; 
and an instance has been recorded of an otter which 
captured eight or ten salmon in a single day. Accord- 
ing to Mr. Bell, the following is a method of training 
iirlprl : " They should be procured as young 

as possible, and they are at first fed with small fish and 
water. Then bread and milk is to be alternated with 
the fish, and the proportion of the former gradual!}' 
increased till they are led to live entirely on bread and 
milk. They are then taught to fetch and carry, 
exactly as dogs are trained to the same trick; and 
when they are brought to do this with ease and docility, 
a leather fish stuffed with wool is employed for the 
purpose. They are afterwards exercised with a dead 
fish, and chastised if they disobey or attempt to tear it ; 
and finally, they are sent into the water after living 
ones. In this way, although the process is somewhat 
tedious, it is believed that the otter may be certainly 
domesticated, and rendered subservient to our use." 
Independent, moreover, of their value as purveyors of 
fish, several accounts go to prove that, in the tame 
state, they become tractable, docile, and even amusing 
creatures. In the early spring of the year the female 
produces from three to five young at a birth. The 
flesh has a coarse fishy flavour, and is not considered 
good eating. 

THE AMEKICAN OTTEB (Lutra americana) is a 
much larger species than the above. The body is 
three feet and a half in length, exclusive of the tail, for 
which we must reckon other eighteen inches. The fur 
is of a rich brown colour, not only on the back, but 
also underneath the belly ; differing in this latter par- 
ticular from the European species, which is lighter 
below. According to Hearne, the fur is nearly black 
in the summer, but in the winter it assumes the charac- 
teristic chocolate brown, a greyish spot being placed 
under the chin. This form of otter is widely distributed 
throughout the North American continent. Sir John 
Richardson states that it closely resembles the common 
otter in its habits and food. " In the winter season it 
frequents rapids and falls, to have the advantage of 
open water; and when its usual haunts are frozen 
over, it will travel to a great distance through the snow 
in search of a rapid that has resisted the severity of 
the weather. If seen and pursued by hunters on these 
journeys, it will throw itself forward on its belly, and 
slide through the snow for several yards, leaving a 
deep furrow behind it. This movement is repeated 
with so much rapidity, that even a swift runner on 
snow shoes has much trouble in overtaking it. It also 
doubles on its track with much cunning, and dives 
under the snow to elude its pursuers. When closely 
pressed, it will turn and defend itself with great obsti- 
nacy. In the spring of 1826, at Great Bear Lake, the 
otters frequently robbed our nets, which were set under 
the ice, at a distance of a few yards from a piece of 
open water. They generally carried off the heads of 
the fish, and left the bodies sticking in the net." This 
last-named habit strikingly accords with what we have 
above remarked in regard to the common species, and 
it explains the extraordinary amount of destruction 
which these animals are known to create among fishes. 
The female American otter produces from one to three 
young at a single birth. The fur is of an excellent 
texture and quality, but its value is deteriorated by the 
circumstance of its being rather short; nevertheless, 
several thousand skins are annually imported into this 
country. In the list of Mustelidse contained in the 



British Museum, this species is denominated Lataxina 

THE BRAZILIAN OTTEE (Lutra BrazlUensis] is, 
in point of mere size, very similar to the foregoing; 
the female examples, however, procured by the natu- 
ralist D'Azara, did not exceed four feet in length, 
including the tail, which measured twelve inches in the 
largest specimen. The fur has a fulvous yellow colour, 
generally, approaching to a chestnut hue on the limbs 
and tail. According to D'Azara, aa quoted by Mr. 
Ogilby, this " species lives in troops, which sometimes, 
rising to the surface of the water, lift their heads and 
bark like dogs, with a hoarse voice in a menacing and 
snapping manner, without, however, injuring voyagers 
or swim mere. Each family seems to possess a separate 
domain. It spends nearly as much time upon the \vater 
as it does upon the land, where it devours the fish 
which it has taken, and rears its young in holes which 
it excavates in the banks. The same author was 
informed by the Payaguas Indians, who sail continually 
up and down the river, and are better acquainted with 
this animal than others, that the female brings forth 
two at a birth, covered with hair, and that many females 
bring forth and rear their young at the same time and 
in the same place their usual resort throughout the 
year. The motions of this otter are generally slow, 
and it drags, as it were, its belly and muzzle along the 
ground; when it runs, it is not at all swift," By the 
Portuguese colonists of South America, the Brazilian 
otter is called Loto de Rio, or River-wolf. In the Bri- 
tish Museum Catalogue, it is termed the ' Lutra.' 

THE JAVANESE OTTEE (Aomyx Leptonyx) is also 
known by the names of the simung and the wergul. It is 
a small species comparatively, the body measuring very 
little more than two feet, exclusive of the tail, which is 
about half that length. The character and texture of 
the fur is very similar to that of our cornmon European 
species, but the brown colour has a much less rich tint, 
approaching more to a tawny aspect ; the lower part of 
the face, throat, neck, and breast, being of a light dusky 
yellow. The whiskers are strongly developed in a 
double series on either side, one set of bristly hairs 
arising immediately below the nose, and the other from 
the posterior region of the cheek. Dr. Horsfield states 
that " the Javanese otter agrees in its manners with 
the common otter. It inhabits the banks of rivers, and 
lives on fishes. Its disposition, when found at large, is 
extremely ferocious ; If attacked, it defends itself with 
courage. It is with great difficulty taken in its adult 
state; but,if obtained when young, it ismildand tractable. 
In this state it is occasionally seen in dwellings, but I 
never observed it to continue long in confinement. 
The natives distinguish two varieties of the Jnvanese 
otter, to ope of which the name of wergul, to the other 
that of welingsang, is applied. The former is of a 
grey colour, and is said to be solitary, while the latter 
lives gregariously ; but these statements require confir- 
mation." The species, under consideration is found in 
parts of the Indian Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, their 
adjacent isles, and the Continent of Siam. Its voice 
is said to bear some resemblance to that of a person 
crying. The female exhibits much solicitude and 
affection for her offspring. 

THE SEA OTTEE (Enhydra marina), or kalan of 
the Kamtschatkadales, is a very remarkable animal, 
approximating closely to the pinnigrade seals in its 
habits and haunts. The length of the body is rather 
more than three feet, exclusive of the tail, which gives 
an additional seven or eight inches in a full-grown 
specimen. The head is rounded posteriorly, the out- 
line, in a profile view, seen passing insensibly, as it 
were, into that of the strong, thick, muscular ueck. 
The ears are remarkably small, and placed on a much 
lower level than the eyes. The whiskers are strongly 
developed. The limbs are short, more especially the 
anterior pair, and the hinder feet are comparatively 
more bulky than the fore ones, being also situated very 
far back. The toes are covered with hair, almost con- 
cealing the claws, and the outermost digit of the pos- 
terior feet is longer than any of the others. The fur 
varies in colour at different seasons of the year, and 
likewise according to the animal's age. Ordinarily, it 
is of a deep, sooty brown, or sometimes of a rich jet- 
black colour; but in young specimens it is lighter. 
There are two kinds of hair as usual ; the longer are 
whitish, and overlap the more numerous soft, downy 
hairs, which lie partly concealed beneath. The fur 
has a beautiful, glossy, velvety texture ; and, according 
to Captain Cook's account, is softer and finer than that 
of any other species. In early times, the skins appear 
to have fetched an extraordinary price; for Pallas 
states that single skins were sold at Kiachta, by the 
Russian furriers, at the rate of one hundred roubles a 
sum of money equivalent to twenty pounds sterling. 
Even now, the sea otter's fur is highly prized, especially 
as its numbers have been so considerably reduced by the 
competition of Russian, Anglo-Indian, and American 
traders. This animal was formerly abundant on the 
islands skirting the north-eastern shores of Asia, 
Kamtschatka, the Kurile, and the Aleutian isles, but 
it is now almost limited to the western coasts of North 
America, extending as far south as California. The 
fur is purchased principally by the inhabitants of China 
and Japan. In a morphological point of view, the sea 
otter may be looked upon as an intermediate form 
between the fresh-water otters and the true maritime 
seals ; and we also find that in its capacity for capturing 
fish, it appears to combine the special facilities of 
either species. It is essentially a marine animal, living 
very constantly in the open sea, and only frequenting 
the rocks for repose, and for the occasional purpose of 
rearing its young. The Russian traveller, Von Kotze- 
bue, has given the following interesting account of the 
habits and mode of hunting the sea otter: "They 
are often seen on the surface of the water, many miles 
from land, lying asleep on their backs, with their 
young, of which two are produced at a birth, resting 
upon them and sucking. The young cannot swim 
until they are several months old; but the mother, 
when she goes out to sea in search of food, carries 
them on her back, and brings them home to her hole 
in the rocks when she has duly satisfied her hunger. 
If seen by the hunters during these excursions, the 
female falls a sure prey to them ; for she never forsakes 
her offspring however much they embarrass her swim- 
ming, but, in common with the male, defends them 



courageously against every attack. The lungs are so 
constructed that they cannot subsist for more than a 
few minutes under water, but are necessitated to 
reascend to the surface for breath. These opportuni- 
ties are seized by the hunters, who would seldom 
succeed if the otter could remain long under water, 
where it swims with great rapidity and skill. The 
hunters row in the little Aleutian baidars or boats 
round the coast, and for some miles out to sea, being 
provided with bows, arrows, and short javelins, which 
they discharge as soon as they observe an otter. The 
animal is seldom struck at first ; it immediately dives, 
and as it swims very rapidly, the skill of the hunter is 
displayed in giving the canoe the same direction a 
that taken by the animal. As soon as the otter 
reappears on the water, it is once more fired at, when 
down it dives again ; and the pursuit is thus continued 
until the creature becomes so weary that it is at length 
easily struck. Sometimes the otters succeed in tearing 
out with their teeth the arrows which have wounded 
them, and often, especially if their young are with 
them, boldly rush upon the canoes, and attack their 
persecutors employing for this purpose their powerful 
teeth and claws. These conflicts, however, uniformly 
terminate in the defeat and death of the otter. The 
hunt is safer when the canoes are numerous, but, with 
experienced hunters, two boats are sufficient." 


This family embraces a large section of the Carnivora, 
but the interest attaching to them being probably less 
than that accorded to any other subdivision of the 
Mammalia, we shall consequently devote a smaller 
space to their consideration. By many naturalists the 
hysenas are included in this group ; yet, as they are 
clearly osculant between the civets and the cats, it is 
our intention to consider them as a separate family. 
The civets, properly so called, have usually forty teeth, 
their dental formula displaying the ordinary number of 
incisors and canines seen in the typical Carnivora, but 
almost invariably presenting twenty-four molars that 
is to say, six above and below on either side ; and of 
these, the anterior sixteen are spurious, while, of the 
remaining eight, six only are tuberculated a pair of 
the inferior true molars being carnassial in their cha- 
racter. The tongue is furnished with numerous sharp, 
rough, horny papillae, which are directed backwards. 
The feet are more or less digitigrade, being generally 
pentadactylous, but in some cases tetradactylous the 
claws being slightly raised during progression. Seba- 
ceous glandular follicles exist in the anal region, capable 
of secreting a more or less disagreeable foetid matter. 
The various kinds of viverrine carnivore are widely 
distributed over the eastern hemisphere. A solitary 
species of civet, with long harr, large ears, and a small 
pointed head, is known to inhabit Mexico. The natu- 
ralist Lichtenstein has described and figured it under 
the combined generic and specific title of flassaris 

THE GAXET (Cryptoprocta ferox). This creature 
is about the size of our common stoat. The body is 
very slender, terminating posteriorly in a long hairy 

tail, having throughout an almost uniform thickness- 
The head is narrow; the muzzle being short, with the 
nostrils deeply notched laterally. The mouth and eyes 
are comparatively small, more particularly the former. 
The ears are remarkably large, conspicuous, and hairy ; 
they have an oval outline, the margin being folded 
upon itself posteriorly; the internal surface is also 
marked by sinuosities. The whiskers are numerous 
and strongly developed. The limbs are stoutish, and 
of moderate length, the anterior pair being rather 
shorter than the hind ones. The feet are plantigrade 
and pentadactylous, the soles being naked, and the 
digits furnished with compressed, retractile, incurved 
claws ; those of the anterior feet being more sharply 
pointed than the posterior series. The galet is a native 
of the island of Madagascar. Although plantigrade in 
its walk, most of the characters above recorded, as well 
as thosa of the dentition, serve to indicate a close alli- 
ance with the more highly carnivorous cats and dogs. 
It is to Mr. Bennett that nffturalists are indebted lor 
having early described this species in the first volume 
of the Zoological Society's Transactions. 

THE DELTTNDTJNG (Prionodon gradlis) comes so 
near to the cats in certain particulars, that Dr. Hors- 
field originally described it as a species of Felis in his 
valuable " Zoological Kesearches in Java." It was 
discovered by him in the district of Blambangan at the 
eastern extremity of the island in the year 1806. The 
length of the body is about fifteen and a half inches, 
not including the tail, which would give us rather more 
than another foot. A glance at the excellent figure 
presented in the work above quoted, is sufficient to 
prove its distinctiveness as a separate species the 
body being singularly elongated, vermiform, and rather 
slimly built. The tail is also very long, cylindrical, 
and particularly thick at the base, the outline of the 
rump being prolonged, as it were, into that of the 
extended caudal development. The head is tapering, 
and sharply pointed in front. The nose is elongated, 
naked, and furnished with Jaterally-placed nostrils. 
The jaws are provided with thirty-eight teeth of which 
there are twenty-two molars, five on either side above, 
and six correspondingly opposed in each series below. 
The eyes are placed far forward, and have a circular 
pupil. The ears are rather small, short, rounded, and 
somewhat irregular at the margin. Long whiskers 
proceed from the upper lip, projecting backwards 
beyond the head; others also rise from the angles 
of the mouth, and from the interspaces between the 
eyes and ears. The feet are five-toed and digiti- 
grade, being clothed with hair above and below. 
The digits are provided with minute, sharply-panted, 
retractile claws. The delundung is an attractive and 
elegant species. "On a ground of pale, yellowish- 
white, which covers the throat, breast, belly, sides, 
and part of the back and tail, the distinguishing 
marks of a deep brown colour, inclining to black, 
are arranged in the following manner: Four trans- 
verse bands, gradually increasing in breadth, cover 
the back at intervals between the limbs. On the rump 
are two narrow bands; two longitudinal stripes take 
their origin, one between the ears, the other near the 
posterior angle of the eye on each side, and pass, with 



interruptions at the transverse bands, to the thighs, 
when they are continued by numerous large spots 
which cover these parts. From the shoulders and 
thighs, several obscure stripes pass to the feet, which 
have a dusky-grey colour. Between the origin of the 
longitudinal stripes of the body, and the transverse 
bands of the back, two smaller stripes are placed, which 
unite on the lower part of the neck from the opposite 
sides." Little or nothing is known of the habits of the 
Delungdung beyond such as may be legitimately 
inferred from its carnivorous structure, and from the 
circumstance of its being usually found in extensive 

THE MEEBKAT (Cynictls Steedmanniij.M.T. Ogilby 
first accurately described this species in the Zoological 
Society's Transactions. It is an inhabitant of the 
district of Uytenhaye on the borders of Kaffraria. 
The term meerkat is applied by the South African 
colonists to signify almost any kind of small quad- 
ruped having burrowing habits. The body of the 
meerkat is about a foot and a half in length, exclusive 
of the tail which would give another twelve inches. 
The jaws are furnished with thirty-eight teeth, of 
which twenty-two are molars, twelve above and ten 
below ; the last two on either side of the upper series, 
as well as one correspondingly opposed on each side 
below, being tuberculated. The limbs are slender and 
comparatively long. The feet are completely digiti- 
grade, and provided with claws adapted to grubbing up 
the soil. The fore-feet are five-toed ; but the hind- 
feet are tetradactylous. The fur has a bright reddish 
or chestnut tinge generally, being deeper coloured on 
the back. The tail is bushy like that of a fox, and 
shaded with dark-brown hairs, except at the tip, where 
it is of a uniform dull white. The texture of the fur 
is smooth, close, and fine. This animal appears to be 
tolerably abundant in the locality above mentioned, as 
several travellers have been careful to notice its occur- 
rence. At a time when the meerkats were perhaps 
totally unknown to Europeans, the African traveller, 
Barrow, records the following little incident : " An 
eagle," he says, " making a stoop at one of these, close 
to where we were passing, missed his prey, and both 
fell a sacrifice, one to the gun, the other to the dogs." 

mon) Plate 9, fig. 32. The various members of 
the genus Herpestes, are, amongst other things, char- 
acterized by the possession of forty teeth, of which 
twenty-four belong to the molar series, the last two on 
either side above, and the ultimate tooth of each corre- 
sponding group below, being tuberculated. The head 
is furnished with short and rounded ears, and the 
circumferential osseous ring of the orbital space is in 
most cases complete. The limbs are short, the feet 
being pentadactylous and armed with huge, com- 
pressed, incurved, and slightly retractile claws. The 
oval glandular pouch is remarkably capacious. The 
fur consists of long, rigid hairs, more or less annulated 
with alternating shades of dark and light tints. The 
Egyptian ichneumon is the best known of all the 
species, and is celebrated by Herodotus, Aristotle, and 
many other ancient writers. All sorts of fabulous 
stories, mixed with a certain degree of truth, have 
VOL. I. 

been told respecting it ; but the sober science of 
modern times very properly rejects such silly records 
as totally unworthy of belief. By European residents 
in Egypt the ichneumon is known by the name of 
Pharaoh's rat ; but the native Arabs call it nenis or 
nuns. The traveller Sonnini, whose observations on 
this animal were made towards the close of the eigh- 
teenth century, was one of the first to give an accurate 
account of these creatures. Speaking of their habits 
he says that " they feed upon rats, birds, and reptiles. 
They ramble about the habitations of men ; they even 
steal into them in order to surprise the poultry and 
devour their eggs. It is this natural fondness for eggs 
that prompts them frequently to scratch up the sand 
with the intention of discovering those that the croco- 
diles deposit there, and it is in this manner that they 
prevent, in reality, the excessive propagation of these 
detestable animals." The Egyptian ichneumon is 
readily domesticated, and specimens of it are always 
to be seen in living collections in this country. The 
fur has a peculiar dark tawny-grey aspect, resulting 
from the circumstance that the individual hairs are 
coloured with alternating rings of chestnut-brown and 
yellow. The muzzle and feet have a deep, reddish- 
brown tinge. The tail is long, thick, and bushy at the 
root. A full-grown ichneumon is about the size of an 
ordinary cat. When much excited it is said to growl 
and even bark. 

THE MOONGUS (Herpestes griseus}. This animal 
is also known as the Indian ichneumon in contradis- 
tinction to the above- described species ; but as there 
are several other allied forms inhabiting the great 
Asiatic peninsula and the adjacent islands, it is better 
to retain the more distinctive appellation here given. 
The moongus is celebrated for attacking venomous 
serpents, and it is said to have recourse to the plant 
called Hampadder-tanah or Mungo-root (Ophorhlza 
mungos) as an antidote to their venom. The plant is 
still employed as an antidote by the natives ; but we 
do not place much faith in the above-mentioned state- 
ment, which was originally recorded and concocted 
by Rumphius. This animal's astonishing power of 
destroying vermin, however, has been satisfactorily 
demonstrated in our own country. Mr. Bennett, in his 
account of a specimen kept in the tower of London, 
relates that the beast actually destroyed, on one occa- 
sion, no fewer than a dozen full-grown rats which were 
loosed to it in a room sixteen feet square, accomplish- 
ing the slaughter in a minute and a half! The 
moongus may be readily tamed and taught to accom- 
pany its master anywhere, both in and out of doors. 

THE GARANGAN (Herpestes Javanicus) is a native 
of Java, and is especially abundant in the large teak 
forests of that island. Like the last-described species, 
it is exceedingly destructive to serpents, which it 
attacks with great fury. Rats appear to be its favour- 
ite food ; but it is also terribly destructive to chickens. 
In pursuing its prey it exercises much cunning and 
ingenuity. It is very easily domesticated; but its 
propensities for poultry deter the Javanese from show- 
ing it much regard. Moreover, it is said to be of a 
capricious disposition, occasionally indulging in fits of 
anger and violence. The fur of the garangan or 



Javanese ichneumon, as it is sometimes called, is 
rather darker than that of the moongus and its allies. 

THE EATLAMUCHI (Herpestes badius) inhabits the 
Cape of Good Hope and neighbouring parts of southern 
Africa. According to Dr. J. E. Gray, the fur is of a 
" red bay, the hairs being of a uniform colour, except 
a few just over the shoulder nape, which have a black 
sub-apical ring." The ratlamuchi, in common with its 
congeners, is very shy in the wild state, so that only 
very feeble glimpses can be obtained of it while it 
hurriedly escapes from one wood to another. There 
is every reason to believe that it feeds upon rats, mice, 
snakes, and lizards ; but the stomachs of those ex- 
amples obtained by Dr. Smith, who originally described 
the species, contained the remains of insects only. 
In the catalogue of Mammalia preserved in the British 
Museum, this species is denominated Smith's ichneu- 
mon or Herpestes Smithii. 

THE STJBICATE OE ZENIC (Rhyzana tctradactyla) 
is also a native of southern Africa, and is rather 
smaller than the Indian moongus, being about four 
feet long, including the tail, which is rather more than 
half the length of the body. The suncate possesses 
thirty-six teeth, twenty being molars, of which the 
anterior twelve are spurious. The four true grinders 
of the upper series and the two ultimate ones below 
are tuberculated. The orbital cavity is surrounded by 
a complete osseous ring. The ears are small, the 
muzzle much produced, the tongue being furnished 
with horny papillae. The limbs are comparatively 
long, terminating in tetradactylous feet, whose digits 
are armed with strongly-developed, compressed, in- 
curved claws. The tail is slender and pointed, and 
the anal region is supplied with the usual pair of 
glandular follicles. The fur of the zenic very closely 
resembles that of the ichneumon in respect of its 

annulations and peculiar tinting. The colour is a 
mixture of yellow, white, brown, and black. The 
inner sides of the legs are yellowish -brown, and the 
hairs on the back are also darker, while the tail is 
marked with blackish tufts, especially at the tip. 
The habits of the suricate are similar to those of its 
congeners, feeding, as it does, upon rats, mice, &c. 
It is also reported to be exceedingly destructive to 

THE MANGUE (Crossarchus obscurus). This ani- 
mal was first described by M. Friedrick Cuvier. It is 
an inhabitant of the district of Sierra Leone, on the 
west coast of Africa. In respect of size and general 
appearance it resembles the suricate. The bead is 
more rounded posteriorly than in the ichneumons; 
but the bony orbital ring is incomplete behind. The 
muzzle is very much produced or proboscidiform ; and 
the jaws are furnished with twenty molars, the lani- 
aries or carnassials being surmounted with acute 
conical tubercles. The ears are small, round, and 
bilobulated. The central papilla? of the tongue are 
horny. The feet are plantigrade and pentadactylous, 
while the tail is flattened, of moderate length, but con- 
siderably thicker than that of the suricate. In the 
anal region there is a solitary glandular pouch. The 
body is only sixteen inches in length, not including the 
tail, which measures some eight inches. The fur pre- 
sents a tolerably uniform brownish colour, except on 
the sides of the head, where it is much paler. The 
mangue feeds on small quadrupeds, insects, and fruits ; 
and in the domesticated state it is a cleanly docile 

THE POUGONNE (Paradoxurus typus). As this 
animal, in common with several of its allies, is called 
the musang, we purposely retain the subjoined dis- 
tinctive title. The term Paradoxure, by which it is 

Fig. 27. 

The Pougonne (Paradoxurus typus). 

likewise well known, is also applicable to other species 
of the same genus ; while to employ the name of palm- 
marten given to it by the French, would involve the 
same uncertainty, being open to precisely similar 
objections. The Pougonne (fig. 27), is a native of 
India, and is quite distinct from the genets, with which, 

however, it has been frequently confounded. The 
head exhibits a thoroughly canine aspect, and the 
muzzle is much pointed. The jaws are supplied with 
forty teeth, twenty-four of them being molars. The 
pupil of the eye is slit longitudinally, the ears being 
rather large and rounded. The body is stoutish, and 


provided with short limbs, the feet being semi-palmate, 
plantigrade, and pentadactylous. The claws are 
slightly retractile. The odoriferous secreting pouch is 
represented by a superficial grandular space, placed a 
little below the anal opening. The tail is as long as 
the body, cylindrical, slightly flattened from above 
downwards, and non-prehensile ; in the example de- 
scribed by F. Cuvier it was found spirally folded upon 
itself, as in the figure here given. The fur of the 
pougonne has a more or less brownish tint generally, 
being marked on the back and sides with darker patches 
of the same colour, somewhat irregularly disposed. Its 
habits correspond with those of the species of this family 
whose food is of a mixed character. 

THE COMMON GENET (Genetta vulgaris), is an 
inhabitant of the south of France, of Spain, and of the 
African continent throughout its entire length and 
breadth. It is generally found in the low grounds, 
near the edges of rivers, or in the immediate neigh- 
bourhood of springs. The Genet very much resembles 
an ordinary cat, and in the domesticated condition forms 
a very good substitute, catching and killing mice with 
equal skill. The various members of the genus Genetta 
are distinguished by their 
vertically slit pupils, and by 
their completely retractile 
claws, in which respect they 
approximate very closely to 
the Felidte. The odori- 
ferous anal pouches are re- 
duced to a mere depression 
in the skin, the amount of the 
secretion being correspond- 
ingly deficient; nevertheless 
quite enough to produce a 
very perceptible odour. The 
Genets are smaller than the 
true civets, and less frugivor- 
ous in their habits. The fur 
of the species under con- 
sideration is more or lesa 
greyish and spotted, with 
conspicuous oval, oblong, or 
rounded patches of a brown- 
ish-black colour, the cheeks 
and sides of the muzzle being 
covered with white markings. 

The tail is beautifully annulated witn upwards of twenty 
alternating white and black bands. It is as long as the 
body, and tapers very gently towards the tip, where 
it is also clothed with long coarse hair. Its dental 
arrangement is precisely similar to that of the civets, 
properly so called. 

THE LTTWAK (Viverra rmisanga), is a well-marked 
form, although it resembles the genet in size and many 
other particulars. The head is broad behind, ending 
anteriorly in a sharply pointed muzzle. The jaws are 
furnished with twenty molar teeth, which are com- 
paratively short and broad. The body is about 
twenty-two inches long, exclusive of the tail, which 
would give us another foot and a half. The general 
colour of the fur is that of a deep tawny-brown ; the 
head, central line of the back, tail, and outer sides of 

the limbs being almost black. A whitish-grey band 
passes backwards from the eye, gradually increasing in 
breadth until it arrives at the centre of the neck. 
The pupils of the eyes are rounded. The limbs are 
robust, terminating in pentadactylous feet, armed with 
large, strong, semi-retractile claws. In regard to the 
habits of the Luwak, Dr. Horsfield states that they are 
" very similar to those of the genet. If taken while 
young, it becomes patient and gentle during confine- 
ment, and receives readily animal and vegetable food. 
It requires little attention, and even contents itself 
with the scanty remains of the meals of the natives, 
with fish, eggs, rice, potatoes, &c., the structure of its 
teeth being particularly adapted to a vegetable diet. 
It prefers, however, delicate and pulpy fruits, but 
when pressed by hunger, also attacks fowls and birds." 
The Luwak, we are told, causes terrible damage to the 
coffee plantations, devouring the berries with excessive 
greediness. On this account some have called it the 
" coffee rat." Only the arillus and external coverings of 
the berry are consumed, the seed itself passing through 
the animal unaffected by the digestive powers of the 
animal's stomach. The Luwak is pretty widely dis- 

Fig. 28. 

The Easse (Viverra Rasse). 

tributed, being found in Sumatra, Java, the Malayan 
peninsula, and in most of the adjacent islands of the 
Indian archipelago. 

THE EASSE (Viverra Basse), is a remarkably hand- 
some creature, and is readily distinguished from its con- 
geners by its elongated form, delicate build, and elegant 
colouring (fig. 28). It is also a native of Java and the 
adjoining isles. The length of the body is nearly two 
feet, not including the tail, which would give us another 
twelve inches. The head is cuneiform, compressed 
sideways, terminating anteriorly in a very attenuated 
muzzle. The ears are particularly broad at the base, 
closely approximating to each other on the crown of 
the head. The eyes are dark-coloured. The whiskers 
are few in number, but of considerable length. The 
limbs are of moderate size, and terminate in digitigrade 



pentadactylous feet, armed with acute semi-retractile 
claws. A solitary glandular pouch exists in the anal 
region. The general aspect of the fur is tawny grey, 
prettily marked with dark-brown or blackish spots, in 
addition to which there are eight dark-coloured parallel 
bands passing from the shoulders to the posterior 
extremity of the rump, four of them being situated on 
either side, and immediately below the central line of 
the back. The dark spots above mentioned have also 
a tendency to arrange themselves in linear series. 
The tail is striped with sixteen circular alternating 
bands of a black and whitish-grey colour. The Rasse 
" preys on small birds and animals of every descrip- 
tion. It possesses the sanguinary appetite of animals 
of this family in a high degree, and the structure 
of the teeth strictly corresponds with its habits. In 
confinement it will devour a mixed diet, and is fed 
on eggs, fish, flesh, and rice. Salt is reported by the 
natives to be a poison to it." The odoriferous secretion 
from the anal glands is termed dedes by the Javanese 
and jibet by the Malays, and Dr. Horsfield further 
informs us that it is quite a "favourite perfume among 
the Javanese, and applied both to their dresses, and, 
by means of various unguents and mixtures of flowers, 
to their persons. Even the apartments and the furni- 
ture of natives of rank are generally scented with it to 
such a degree as to be offensive to Europeans, and at 
their feasts and public processions the air is widely 
filled with this odour." 

THE TANGGALTTNG (Viverra zibefha] is a very 
widely distributed species throughout the more south- 
ern portions of the great Asiatic continent, extending 
from Arabia on the west to the coast of Malabar 
on the east, and also occupying Sumatra, Java, 
Borneo, and other islands of the Indian archipelago. 
The term Tanggalung is of Malayan origin ; but this 
species is also called the Indian civet, and by the 
native Hindoos is known by the name of the Kutauss. 
It is a comparatively strong and bulky species, having 
a short thick neck and somewhat, rounded head. The 
ears are very much wider apart than obtains in the 
Rasse, leaving an interspace of about two inches 
width. The tail is cylindrical, nearly uniform in 
thickness, and shorter than the body ; it is somewhat 
indistinctly striped with alternating black and light- 
brown rings. The fur has a light-brownish ashy-grey 
colour, being marked with small black spots arranged 
in a transversely undulating manner. The throat and 
lower parts of the belly are whitish. Dr. Horsfield 
says that this animal has a comparatively mild dis- 
position ; but his remarks evidently apply to it when 
in a semi-domesticated condition. Captain Thomas 
Williamson's account of the wild Indian civet affords 
a clearer estimate of its naturally ferocious character. 
"This animal," he says, " is perhaps the most obnoxious 
of all the wild tribes known in India. It is seldom, if 
ever, seen on a plain, except at night, when it leaves 
its haunt in quest of prey. The Kutauss is remarkably 
bold, sparing nothing which it can overcome, and 
frequently killing, as it were, merely for sport. Its 
principal devastations are among sheep and swine, from 
which it purloins the young, and commits dreadful 
havoc among poultry. To the rapacity of the wolf it 

joins the agility of the cat and the cunning of the fox." 
The same excellent observer tells us that it " is gene- 
rally found in short underwood covers, mixed more or 
less with long grass, and especially where the palmyra 
or cocoa tree is to be seen. Although it is sometimes 
met with in various detached jungles, yet, for the most 
part, its residence is confined to such as border old 
tanks or jeels. The banks being formed by the 
excavation, are often very high and broad ; with time 
they settle and become flatter, and are generally overrun 
with very strong brambles, through which even an 
elephant could not make his way without extreme 
difficulty. Of such covers the Kutauss is a regular 
inhabitant, seldom stirring in the day, during which 
time he appears to hide himself in the most opaque 
recesses." The Kutauss ascends trees with facility, 
and when chased by hunters makes a very powerful 
resistance. The odour which it emits is similar to that 
of the Rasse, and, like the jibet, is duly extolled by 
the natives as a delightful perfume. It is, however, 
highly offensive to Europeans, and Captain Williams 
states that the hunters' dogs in Bengal become per- 
fectly sick with the stench; nevertheless there is no 
animal which they will so readily attack, and after 
they have worried a Kutauss nothing will induce them 
to pursue any other kind of game until at least the 
smell of the beast has entirely quitted their nostrils. 
Kutausses only frequent the neighbourhood of such 
villages as are inhabited by Mussulmans, simply be- 
cause no poultry can be stolen from those populated 
by Hindoos, whose religion forbids the rearing of 
chickens and fowls. Unclean animals all ! 

THE AFBICAN CIVET (Viverra civetta) Plate 9, 
fig. 31 is the species most commonly known, and it 
is from this animal that the unctuous browu substance 
termed " civet" is chiefly procured. The fatty matter 
in question is obtained from the two anal glandular 
pouches, so frequently alluded to in other viverrine 
genera. In the fresh state its odour is extremely dis- 
agreeable ; but when very copiously diluted and mixed 
with other perfumes the energy of which it appears 
to have the power of augmenting the combination is 
considered pleasant. The Civet is most abundant in 
North Africa ; but it is also found on the coast of 
Guinea and at other parts of the continent as far south 
as the Mozambique. In the domesticated condition 
this animal exhibits a very capricious temper ; but 
large numbers of Civets are kept for the sake of 
procuring the oily perfume. We are told that the 
unfortunate captives have their dignity insulted about 
twice a week. Thus, the tails being raised, and the 
hinder parts fixed to the bars of their cages in situ, a 
sort of iron scoop is unceremoniously introduced into 
the before-mentioned pouches, and the glands are 
relieved of their odoriferous contents. The African civet 
is larger than the Tanggalung, the body being nearly 
three feet long, not including the tail, which measures 
about eighteen inches. The fur has a light brownish - 
grey colour, with spots and bands of a darker brown or 
blackish tint. The hairs along the central line of the 
back and neck are sufficiently elongated to form a 
kind of mane, which can be raised or depressed at will. 
The hairs of the tail are also long, and being whitish 



with black ends, they impart to the organ a more or 
less ringed appearance. The habits of the African 
civet are by preference nocturnal. It is a good 
climber, and although particularly fond of birds and 
small quadrupeds, it does uot reject fruits, roots, and 
other vegetable matters. 


In a zoological point of view, this family cannot be 
considered as equivalent to any of the three foregoing 
carnivorous groups. It is clearly 
osculant between the Vivcrridse and 
Felidse, resembling the cats in its 
dental formula, and the civets in 
nearly all other respects. In addition 
to the usual six incisives and four 
canines, the Hysenas have eighteen 
molars, of which the anterior four- 
teen, that is, eight above and six 
below, are, according to the view of 
Professor Owen, spurious ; whilst, of 
the four remaining true molars, the 
upper pair are tuberculated, those of 
the lower series remaining sectorial 
in their character. The Hyaenas are 
further distinguished by their peculiar 
gait, depending upon the paramount 
lengthening of the anterior limbs as 
compared with the hind legs. This 
elongation is perhaps, on the whole, 
more apparent than real ; nevertheless, 
taken separately, the tibia and fibula of 
the posterior extremity are shorter than the correspond- 
ing radius and ulna of the fore-limb. The feet are 
all tetradactylous. The ears are large, the eyes pro- 
minent, and the tongue covered with horny papillae. 
The body gradually declines from the shoulder towards 
the tail, supporting a bushy mane on the neck and 
central line of the back. There are fifteen or sixteen 
pair of ribs. The tail is rather short, the anal glan- 
dular pouches being deep and capacious. So far as 
at present known, this family is exclusively confined 
to the eastern hemisphere. Numerous fossil remains 
of Hysenas occur in the pliocene deposits, and more 
particularly in the ossiferous caverns of Great Britain 
and central Europe. 

THE AARD-WOLF (Proteles Lalandii)fig. 29. 
This is a very interesting animal, inasmuch as it con- 
stitutes one of those transitional or aberrant forms 
which serve to demonstrate the unity of plan pervading 
all organized beings. The various species which in- 
habit this planet, whether animal or vegetable, are not 
to be regarded as creations representing so many 
totally different designs, but they are rather to be 
looked upon as special modifications of one common 
archetypal plan. Speaking of secondary causes, we 
may say that nature developes progressively, and in 
accordance with the motto, "Nihilper saltum." Such 
a view is at the same time quite consistent with the 
notion that each animal the Aard-wolf, for example 
is an independent entity, a distinct species, a 
sepai-ate creation, an expression of the Divine will. 

Observe how closely this creature resembles several 
other allied forms. In general appearance and attitude 
it is like the true hysenas, and this apparent identity 
is perhaps even more obvious in the dentition and in 
the structure of the skeleton. In respect of its size, 
the form of the head, and in the circumstance of its 
excavating burrows for diurnal retreat, we notice its 
fox-like qualities, while in several other particulars it 
approaches the civets. The molars are small, and 
vary in number from sixteen to twenty. The fore- 
feet are pentadactylous, having the digit of the thumb 

Fig. 29. 

The Aard- Wolf (Proteles Lalandii). 

slightly raised. The hind-feet have only four toes. 
The tail is comparatively short. The texture of the 
fur is soft and woolly, except along the central line of 
the back and neck, where it is long and rigid, and 
forms an erectile mane, the individual hairs being 
upwards of six inches long. The body displays a 
yellowish ashy-brown colour, the sides being irregu- 
larly banded with eight or ten dark-brown stripes, 
whilst the legs are also lined with similar transverse 
markings. Like its congeners, the habits of the Aard- 
wolf are nocturnal, and it feeds on various kinds of 
animal and vegetable food, and from the observations 
of Sparrman, appears to be very partial to ants, thus 
reminding us also of the insectivorous habits of the 
bears. On the approach of daylight he retires to his 
self-constructed subterraneous burrow, and there lies 
concealed during the day. Aard-wolves are remark- 
ably timid and shy ; and, as if to increase their security, 
they not only make their burrows near each other, 
but many are frequently found occupying the same 
hole, which, however, may have several outlets, so 
that they can all escape if disturbed. They are thus 
gregarious in their habits, and are also swift runners, 
notwithstanding the disproportion which exists between 
the anterior and posterior extremities. 

THE STRIPED HYJENA (Hycena striata) Plate 9, 
fig. 30. This is the most widely districted species, 
being found in abundance in the greater part of central 
Asia, Hindoostan, Asiatic Turkey, Persia, Syria, and 
northern Africa. It is recognized by its brownish- 



grey colour, which is darker along the central line of 
the back and neck, where the hairs are prolonged to 
form an erectile mane, the sides of the body being also 
marked by several dark-brown bands. All the hyaenas 
display remarkable strength and voracity, their jaws 
being eminently fitted for tearing and crushing the 
hardest substances. At night they prowl about in 
large numbers, devouring alike living and dead animals, 
whether the latter be fresh or semiputrid. Graves are 
torn open without ceremony a circumstance which 
has given rise to various superstitions and silly tales, 
which ancient writers ignorantly delighted to record. 
The Striped hysena is not very particular as to the char- 
acter or size of his victim. Colonel Denham, when at 
Kouka, informs us that a legion of this species literally 
stormed a large village in that neighbourhood one 
night, and, notwithstanding that the place was sur- 
rounded by a barricade, consisting of branches of the 
prickly tulip nearly six feet in height, they succeeded 
in throwing it down and taking away two donkeys. 
He adds " We constantly heard them close to the 
walls of our own town at nights, and on a gate being 
left partly open, they would enter and carry off any 
unfortunate animal that they could find in the streets." 
It has often been stated that hya?nas cannot be tamed 
a notion which is entirely erroneous. Among the 
very many proofs which have been adduced to show 
that the species under consideration is quite capable 
of domestication, we may refer to Mr. Bennett's account 
of a Striped hyaena kept in the tower of London, 
which manifested remarkable docility and attachment 
to its keeper. It may also be mentioned, on the 
authority of Colonel Sykes, that in central India, 
where the species is numerous, they are found to be 
as susceptible of domestication as ordinary dogs. 

THE SPOTTED HYJENA (Hyaena crocuta). This 
is called the " Tiger-wolf" by the colonists at the Cape 
of Good Hope, and it is often spoken of simply as the 
Wolf, in contradistinction to the next species, which is 
termed the Strand-wolf. Though most abundant in 
Southern Africa, the Spotted hyaena is found as far 
north and west as the coast of Guinea and Senegal, 
and even Barbary, if the statements of Lesson are 
correct. It is rather smaller than the last-described 
species, and is further distinguished by the absence of 
any well-marked mane, as well as by the circumstance 
that the fur is covered with roundish black spots, instead 
of stripes, which, nevertheless, exhibit a tendency to 
arrange themselves in linear series. The general colour 
of the fur is yellowish-brown, the hairs being compara- 
tively short. The tail is bushy, and of a brownish- 
black tinge. The habits of the Spotted hyaena appear 
to be even more destructive than those of the striped 
species. Numerous accounts have been placed on 
record respecting its extraordinary rapacity, but of 
these we shall refer only to the more interesting. The 
traveller Steedman gives the following account of its 
depredations, as communicated to him by a trustworthy 
correspondent, who writes from Mamboland as follows : 
" To sh^fc clearly the preference of the wolf (i.e., 
Spotted hyaena) for human flesh, it will be necessary to 
notice, that when the Mambookies build their houses, 
which are in form like beehives, and tolerably large 

often eighteen or twenty feet in diameter the floor is 
raised at the higher or back part of the house, until 
within three or four feet of the front, where it suddenly 
terminates, leaving an area from thence to the wall, in 
which every midnight the calves are tied, to protect 
them from the storms or from wild beasts. Now it 
would be natural to suppose, that should the wolf 
(hyaena) enter, he would seize the first object for his 
prey, especially as the natives always lie with the fire 
at their feet; but notwithstanding this, the constant 
practice of this animal has been in every instance to 
pass by the calves in the area, and even by the fire, 
and to take the children from under the mother's kaross; 
and this in such a gentle and cautious manner, that the 
poor parent has been unconscious of her loss, until the 
cries of her little innocent have reached her from with- 
out, when a close prisoner in the jaws of the monster." 
The same writer avers, that there had come to his 
knowledge no less than forty instances where these 
beasts had thus committed serious havoc within the 
space of only a few months. The Spotted hyaena is a 
great coward, for he will usually only attack his intended 
victim after he has succeeded in intimidating him, and 
in making him run for his life. To bring about this 
result, he utters hideous howls, and puts on every kind 
of snarl and grimace which his villanous physiognomy 
can conjure up. This propensity to howl, however, 
seems to be rather disadvantageous than otherwise, 
seeing that it serves as a warning to the occupants of 
farm-yards and villages. Its design is probably to 
inspire terror, and not to call together other hyaenas of 
the same species, as some have supposed. Various 
methods are adopted to destroy this pest, the best of 
which seems to be that of a spring-gun trap, set in the 
following manner: " Two young trees are selected, 
and divested of their lower branches, or, in lieu of such, 
a couple of stout posts, firmly, driven into the ground, 
will answer the purpose equally well. To these trees 
or posts, as the case may be, the gun is firmly lashed 
in a horizontal position, and with the muzzle pointing 
slightly upwards. A piece of wood about six inches in 
length the lever, in short is tied to the side of the 
gun-stock, in such a manner as to move slightly for- 
wards and backwards. A stout piece of string connects 
the trigger with the lower part of the lever. To the 
upper extremity of the latter is attached a long piece 
of cord, to the outer end of which, after it has been 
passed through one of the empty ramrod tubes, is tied 
a lump of flesh, which is pushed over the muzzle of the 
gun." By this contrivance Mr. Anderson and his friends 
succeeded in destroying several hyaenas. The same 
sportsman and author records in his "Lake Ngami" the 
following curious incident. While stationed at Great 
Namaqua-land, he says " Almost the first animal I 
saw at this place was a gigantic ' tiger-wolf,' or Spotted 
hyaena, which, to my surprise, instead of seeking safety 
in flight, remained stationary, grinning in the most 
ghastly manner. Having approached within twenty 
paces I perceived to my horror, that his fore-paws, and 
the skin and flesh of his front legs, had been gnawed 
away, and that he could scarcely move from the spot. 
To shorten the sufferings of the poor beast, I seized my 
opportunity, and knocked him on the head with a stone ; 



and, catching him by the tail, drove my hunting-knii'e 
deep into his side. But I had to repeat the operation 
more than once before I could put an end to his exist- 
ence. I am at a loss how to account for his mangled 
condition. It certainly could not have been from age, 
for hi teeth were good. Could it be possible that from 
want of food he had become too weak for further exer- 
tions, and that as a last resource he had attacked his 
own body ? Or was he an example of that extraordi- 
nary species of cruelty said to be practised by the lion 
on the hysena, when the latter has the insolence to 
interfere with the monarch's prey ?" We are inclined 
to believe neither of these ingenious views are correct, 
but that the poor beast had gnawed its limbs on account 
of some local disease. We noticed, a few years ago, 
an unfortunate hyaena in the Dublin Zoological Gar- 
dens, which, from some local irritation at the part, had, 
by constant biting and sucking, so reduced its caudal 
appendage, that scarcely any trace of the tail remained. 
We suggested to Dr. Ball that it should be destroyed, 
but that distinguished naturalist did not seem inclined 
to adopt Mr. Andersson's judicious method of consol- 
ing the afflicted ; expressing his belief that the animal 
would get better ! 

THE WOOLLY HYJENA (Hyaena villosa). This 
species was first described by Dr. Andrew Smith in 
the 15th volume of the Liunrean Society's Transac- 
tions. It is called the " Strand-wolf" by the Cape 
colonists, and, when young, bears a very close resem- 
blance to the striped hysena, from which circumstance 
some have stated that the latter is also found in South 
Africa. This is not the case, unless, indeed, the per- 
suasion that the Woolly hyaena is nothing more than a 
well-marked variety of the species under consideration, 
should gain universal acceptance. The distinguished 
author of the ' Catalogue of Mammalia," preserved in 
the British Museum, entertains this view. In the 
meantime we may observe, that a fourth kind has been 
described the Brown hyaena (Hycena nifti) which is 
also a South African species. The fur of the Woolly 
hyaena is long and coarse, but it does not form an 
erectile mane along the central line of the back. The 
body has a greyish-brown colour, with indistinct mark- 
ings of a darker hue, transversely arranged on the sides 
and hips, and other more conspicuous ones on the legs. 
The tail has a deep-brown tinge, and is longer than in 
the ordinary striped hyaena. The head is lined with 

| dark patches beneath the eyes, on the chin, and at the 
point of junction of the cheeks and neck. The ears 

j are comparatively large, straight, and pointed. Its 
habits are similar to those of other hyaenas, but it fre- 
quently resorts to the sea-coast, where it greedily 
devours carcases of whales, and the semiputrid remains 
of any other animals which by chance may have been 
washed ashore. It is not so common a species as the 
spotted hysena. 


The Dogs form a small natural group, although the 
individual members of the family are extremely nume- 
rous, owing to the circumstance that a solitary species 
has given origin to a multitude of well-marked and more 

or less permanent varieties, forming a series of domesti- 
cated races. Besides the ordinary complement of twelve 
incisive and four canine teeth, the dogs are usually 
furnished with twenty-six molars, but in some instances 
as many as thirty-two have been present. Ordinarily, 
there are six molars on either side above, and seven cor- 
respondingly opposed below. Of these, the last pair on 
either side, above and beneath, are generally tubercu- 
lated ; sometimes the latter three of each series are thus 
characterized. The tongue is soft, and not armed with 
horny papillae. The feet are digitigrade, and furnished 
with five toes in front, but the hind limbs are, in most 
cases, only tetradactylous. Dogs have no anal glan- 
dular pouch. The coecum is well developed, and of a 
spiral form. These animals are found in all parts of the 
habitable globe. Fossil remains of dogs and wolves 
have been found in the bone-caverns of Liege, and also 
in England, at Overton near Plymouth, and at Pavi- 
land in Glamorganshire. A careful examination of 
these fossils has led Professor Owen to advocate the 
view, that all the varieties of dogs are specifically iden- 
tical with the common Wolf. 

THE MAEBLED LYCAON (Lycaon venatica}. This 
is the wild dog or Wilde Hond of the Cape colonists. 
In external appearance it very closely resembles a 
hyaena, and it was originally described by Burchell as 
a member of that genus, under the title of Hycena picta. 
It is, however, a nearer approach to the true dogs. 
This is more especially seen in the character of the 
dentition, and in the structure of the skeleton. Its 
height at the shoulder is rather under two feet from the 
ground, but it looks somewhat taller at first sight on 
account of its slight, gaunt figure. The limbs are long 
and narrow, all of them terminating in tetradactylous 
feet. The fur has a yellowish-brown colour, and is 
irregularly marbled with black and variegated spots of an 
exceedingly irregular shape. The head is like that of 
a hyaena ; the muzzle is pointed, and of a black colour. 
The ears are remarkably large. The tail is moderately 
long, bushy like that of a fox, and divided near the 
middle by a black ring, above which the colour is sandy, 
and white below. According to Mr. Burchell, from 
whose description these characters are partly derived, 
the Lycaon hunts in large organized packs, by prefer- 
ence at night, but occasionally also by day. It appears 
to be a bolder animal than the hyaena, very swift of 
foot, attacking sheep openly, but employing more cau- 
tion in the case of horses and large cattle. 

THE LALANDE (Otocyon Lalandii). This animal 
is rather smaller than an ordinary fox, and is also an 
inhabitant of Southern Africa. The fur is greyish. The 
tail is moderately long, bushy, black at the upper part, 
and also at the extremity. The body stands compara- 
tively high, the limbs being lengthy and slender. The 
head is furnished with remarkably large, long, and 
straight ears. The teeth are forty-eight in number, 
there being no less than thirty-two molars. One of the 
most distinctive peculiarities of the Lalande has refer- 
ence to the character of these molar teeth, fifteen of 
which are tuberculated all the true grinds*, in short, 
four of them belonging to each lateral division above, 
and three correspondingly opposed in each series below. 
The food of the Lalande is principally frugivorous. 



THE FENNEC (Vulpes Zerda) Plate 7, fig. 25 
is more closely allied to the foxes and true dogs, with 
which, indeed, its dentition entirely coincides. It 
resembles the foregoing species chiefly in respect of its 
ears, which are extremely long, and in the circum- 
stance of its slight build and small body. The tail is 
well developed, and dark-coloured at the root and tip ; 
but in other respects it partakes of the general colour and 
character of the fur, which is of a whitish, fulvous, or 
light isabel tint throughout, being almost white beneath 
the belly. Its texture is tine and woolly. The Fennec 
is an inhabitant of the sandy plains of Nubia, where it 
excavates burrows. It also ascends trees with facility. 
A specimen in possession of Mr. Brande, the Swedish 
consul at Algiers, was particularly partial to dates and 
other sweet fruits, and also to eggs. The sight of a 
bird, however, was sufficient to produce violent excite- 
ment. The Fennec does not nestle in trees as the tra- 
veller Bruce supposed. 

THE COMMON FOX ( Vulpes vulgaris) Plate 7, fig. 
26. If the "Museum of Natural History" were exclu- 
sively devoted to the consideration of those animals 
which afford sport, in the ordinary acceptation of the 
term, our readers would in this place probably expect 
a brilliant record of daring leaps and other adventures, 
which are the ordinary accompaniments of the chase 
after a fox. Due regard, however, being paid to the 
habits of the more rare and important quadrupeds of 
foreign countries, we must necessarily limit our details 
respecting such natural history and sporting data as 
the records of the fox-hunter furnish ; moreover, special 
works are devoted to this subject, as well as to other 
matters of interest connected with it. Who is not 
familiar with the common fox, with its rufous brown 
fur and bushy tail or "brush," as it is termed by 
hunters tipped with white ? The sharp muzzle, the 
shrewd look, the penetrating eye with its elliptically 
contracted pupil, the triangular pointed ears, the fetid 
odour, and the cunning step these, and many other 
well-known features, are characters by which Reynard 
may be easily distinguished. Associated with this 
aspect and attitude, we may also be reminded of its 
burrowing propensities, its power of eluding pursuit, its 
skill as a poacher, its swiftness of flight, its sagacity in 
detecting traps, its wily instinct in securing food, &c. 
peculiarities which have over and over again been 
celebrated in story-books from the earliest times; 
neither need any doubt be entertained of the general 
correctness of those serious charges which have from 
time to time been laid at its door, or, as a hunter would 
say, at the entrance of its " earth." Notwithstanding 
all this, Reynard has many friends among English 
gentry, although it cannot be urged that this friendship 
is in any degree disinterested. On the contrary, Rey- 
nard is esteemed only for the sport he creates. How- 
ever destructive he may prove among the occupants of 
a farmyard, woe betide the tenant-farmer who ventures 
to destroy him, and so possibly abridge his landlord's 
pastime. Let Reynard devour hares, rabbits, pheasants, 
partridgeSj^fcicks, geese, chickens, and whatever else 
lie may please to lay his claws upon ; but kill him not, 
lest the tread of the noble fox-hunter's steed be obli- 
terated from the upturned soil ! Through this barrier 

of hunting etiquette, however, a breach is sometimes 
made; and not long ago the author of the present 
section of this work was visiting a gentleman at Attle- 
borough in Norfolk, who, when out shooting on a 
nobleman's estate in the same county, deliberately 
with his host's consent and approbation rolled over a 
pair of foxes, one with the right-hand barrel, and the 
other with the left! As may be supposed, such a 
clever feat of arms gave considerable offence to the 
fox-hunting gentry of the district, while the farmers 
and lovers of partridge-shooting only offered their 
congratulations. The common fox is widely distri- 
buted over Europe, and is also found, according to 
several authorities, in Egypt and other parts of North- 
ern Africa. 

THE AMERICAN BED FOX (T 'ulpcs fuhus} has 
been considered by many as a mere variety of the 
common species above described; there is, however, 
good ground for believing this view to be erroneous. 
According to Mr. Sabine's description, this animal 
exhibits " a general bright ferruginous colour on the 
head, back, and sides, less brilliant towards the tail ; 
under the chin white; the throat and neck a dark- 
grey ; and this colour is continued along the first part 
of the belly in a stripe of less width than on the breast ; 
the under parts, towards the tail, are very pale red ; 
the fronts of the fore-legs and the feet are black, and 
the fronts of the lower part of the hind-legs are also 
black; the tail is very bushy, but less ferruginous than 
the body, the hairs mostly terminated with black, and 
more so towards the extremity than near the root, 
giving the whole a dark appearance ; a few of the hairs 
at the end are lighter, but it is not tipped with white." 
We can testify to the accuracy of this description of 
the fur, having ourselves not only carefully examined 
several examples, but having also dissected a specimen. 
Speaking of its habits, Sir John Richardson states that 
the American Red fox is not so swift as its English 
congener. It runs rapidly for a short distance, " but 
its strength is exhausted in the first burst, and it is 
soon overtaken by a wolf or a mounted huntsman. 
Its flesh is ill-tasted, and is eaten only through neces- 
sity." The female produces four young at a birth, 
the cubs having a soft downy fur of a yellowish -grey 
colour. The Red fox is very abundant in the well- 
wooded districts of North America, many thousand 
skins being annually imported into England by the 
Hudson's Bay Company. 

THE KIT-FOX ( Vulpes cinereo-argentatus) is also a 
North American species, extending from the plains of 
the Saskatchewan territory to those of Columbia. It 
is a very small species, measuring about twenty-two 
inches in length, exclusive of the tail, which would give 
us nearly another foot. Its face and muzzle are com- 
paratively short and broad. On the upper part of the 
body the fur presents a peculiar colour, " produced by 
an intermixture of hairs tipped with brown, black, and 
white." Underneath the neck and belly it is of a dull 
rufous orange colour, the hairs in this situation being 
also longer. The lower parts of the face about the 
mouth are whitish, and more or less tinged with 
blackish-brown at the margins. The whiskers are 
strongly developed and dark-coloured. The tail is 



bushy, of a yollowisli-grey colour, gradually tapering 
towards the extremity, where it is black. 

THE ARCTIC FOX ( Vitlpes lagopus) is as commonly 
known by the designation of Blue fox, on account of 
its peculiar deep ashy, leaden, or bluish-coloured hair. 
The fur varies much in appearance at different periods 
of the year, and according to the place of abode ; being 
very commonly of a brownish-grey colour in some dis- 
tricts, and in others sooty or almost black. In the 
winter the fur usually becomes pure white or whitish- 
yellow ; but this is not invariably the case, as the sooty 
variety is said scarcely to alter its colour in any respect ; 
its texture is woolly, the individual hairs being com- 
paratively long. The Arctic fox is considerably less 
than our European species, the tail being well developed 
and very bushy towards the tip. The ears are short 
and rounded, having a cropped appearance owing to a 
peculiar arrangement of the hairs ; the latter are par- 
ticularly thick and long at the posterior part of the 
cheeks. According to Captain Lyon, " the Arctic fox 
is an extremely cleanly animal, being very careful not 
to dirty those places in which he eats or sleeps. No 
unpleasant smell is to be perceived, even in a male, 
which is a remarkable circumstance. To come una- 
wares on one of these creatures is, in my opinion 
impossible; for even when in an apparently sound 
sleep, they open their eyes at the slightest noise which 
is made near them, although they paj no attention to 
sounds when at a short distance. The general time of 
rest is during the daylight, in which they appear listless 
and inactive ; but the night no sooner sets in than all 
their faculties are awakened; they commence their 
gambols, and continue in unceasing and rapid motion 
until the morning. While hunting for food they are 
mute ; but when in captivity or irritated, they utter a 
short growl like that of a young puppy. It is a singu- 
lar fact that their bark is so modulated, as to give an 
idea that the animal is at a distance, although at the 
very moment he lies at your feet." The same gentle- 
man observes, that when taken they at first display 
great anger, but after a few hours' confinement they 
gradually cool down to a state of easy quietude ; 
instances also occur where they have become quite 
tame. The Arctic fox displays far less cunning than 
our European species, and is not so suspicious of traps. 
The female produces from three to five young at a birth. 
This animal is an inhabitant of the sub-polar regions of 
either division of the Northern hemisphere, being found 
in North America, Lapland, Iceland, Siberia, and Kamt- 
schatka. We have also been informed by a Russian 
gentleman from the neighbourhood of Archangel, that 
the sport of hunting blue foxes is particularly excellent 
in the large isles of Nova Zembla. Ordinarily, Arctic 
foxes are captured by an elevated pit-fall, the pit con- 
sisting of an elevated hut built up with stones, and 
arched over, leaving only an aperture at the summit, 
over which blades of whalebone are fixed in such a 
manner as to insure the certain precipitation of the fox 
into the interior, should the bait, also placed at the 
upper part, successfully allure him on to the top of the 
roof. In the young state, the flesh of the Arctic fox 
is stated to be excellent eating. The fur is employed 
as an article of commerce, the bluish or lead-coloured 

variety being most esteemed. In the peculiar dialect 
of the American Cree Indians, this animal rejoices iu 
the unutterably euphonious name of Wuppeekeeshew- 

THE INDIAN FOX (Vulpes Bengalerms).Th\s is 
a small and elegant species, having a brownish fur, 
which is much darker along the middle line of the 
back, forming a longitudinal sooty-coloured band ; the 
tail is also tipped with black, and the species is further 
distinguished by the presence of circular patches of 
white round the eyes. According to the experienced 
testimony of Captain Williamson, these foxes are 
extremely numerous in India. In general their earths 
are placed on rising grounds, to prevent their being 
inundated. The holes are " remarkably small, and 
may be opened in an hour by any common labourer. 
The foxes are very cunning, at least as much so as 
their brethren in Europe. I have several times known 
them, when pushed hard by greyhounds, to conceal 
themselves in rice fields, or among bulrushes, &c., 
with only their noses peeping out of the water. On 
such occasions, unless there be some questing dog at 
hand, Reynard will often escape unnoticed. Both 
jackals and foxes sham death to admiration. After 
having been almost pulled to pieces by dogs, and left 
to all appearance lifeless, they sometimes gradually 
cock their ears, then look askance at the retiring 
enemy, and, when they think themselves unobserved, 
steal under a bank, &c., and thus skulk along till they 
find themselves safe, when, setting off at a trot or 
canter, they make the best of their way to some place 
of security." The Indian fox feeds principally on 
small birds and quadrupeds, especially rats, mice, and 
such like vermin ; he is likewise partial to fowls, 
poultry, and game, but to secure them he rarely 
ventures within the walls of any village or town. 

THE JACKAL (Canis aureus} Plate 8, fig. 27 
differs from the fox, in presenting a more dog- like 
appearance. The fur exhibits a ruddy yellowish-grey 
colour generally, being darker on the back, where it is 
almost black. The throat and under parts of the belly 
are much lighter. The ocular pupils are rounded, as 
in dogs. The common Jackal is widely distributed 
throughout eastern countries, being found in abundance 
in Hindoostan, Persia, Tartary, the Caucasus, Dalmatia, 
the Morea, Palestine, Egypt, and North Africa, as far 
as the coast of Guinea. In respect of size it is inter- 
mediate between the fox and the wolf. Its habits are 
gregarious ; it hunts at night in packs, and, from its 
piercing yells and destructive habits, is everywhere 
regarded with horror. The united cry of a pack pro- 
duces a most unearthly sound, which has been compared 
to the distant rolling of thunder. Captain Williamson 
records many facts which clearly prove that jackals 
will combine to defend or rescue one of their number. 
Among these he mentions the following incidents : 
" Mr. Kinloch, who was well known as an excellent 
sportsman, and who, when at Midnapore, kept a famous 
pack of hounds, having one morning chased a jackal, 
which entered a thick jungle, found himself under the 
necessity of calling off his dogs, in consequence of an 
immense herd of jackals which had suddenly collected 
on hearing the cries of their brother, which the hounds 



were worrying. They were so mimerous that not 
only the dogs were defeated, but the jackals absolutely 
rushed out of the cover in pursuit of them ; and when 
Mr. Kiuloch and his party rode up to whip them off, 
their horses were bit, and it was not without difficulty 
a retreat was effected. The pack was found to have 
suffered so severely, as not to be able to take the field 
for many weeks." The same writer speaks of the 
Jackal as an extremely troublesome customer. He 
is exceedingly vigilant, and seldom fails to carry his 
purpose. In spite of your efforts to scare him away, 
even with the aid of fire-arms, he will perseveringly 
" wait at your door, nay, will enter your house, and 
avail himself of the smallest opening for enterprise; 
he will rob your roost, and steal kids, lambs, pigs, and 
sometimes even take a pup from its sleepy mother; 
he will strip a larder, or pick the bones of a carcase 
all with equal avidity. It is curious to see them 
fighting almost within reach of your stick, for proximity 
to expected booty. It may readily be supposed that 
when any meat or poultry is purloined by servants, the 
Jackal bears the blame. An officer in our battalion in 
one night lost twenty- seven fowls from the hut in 
which they were kept ; on which one of his servants did 
not hesitate to declare that, on hearing their uproar 
during the night, he had run to see what was the 
matter, and saw twenty-seven jackals, each bearing 
away his bird ! " Jackals, as we have seen, will 
devour any kind of offal, and it is credibly stated that 
they will dig up and greedily feed upon the half-buried 
corpses of a battle-field. The odour of the Jackal is 
very offensive, but it appears to wear off in the 
domesticated animal. The matter which gives rise to 
the disagreeable smell is secreted by a gland at the 
base of the tail. This dermal or skin gland was at one 
time supposed to exist only in the foxes, until a distin- 
guished comparative anatomist Professor Retzius, of 
Stockholm showed that this organ occurs in wolves 
and jackals also. It is not necessary to place the 
slightest reliance in the old story about jackals acting 
as purveyors to the lion, there being no sufficient 
grounds for such a notion. 

THE WOLF (Canis lupus), Plate 7, fig. 24. Pro- 
bably no wild animal is more dreaded in civilized 
countries than the common Wolf, its ferocity and 
strength having very often proved disastrous to the 
traveller, and to the residents of outlying villages. Its 
general appearance is too well known to require any 
lengthened description. The body is about four feet 
long, exclusive of the tail, which measures from fourteen 
to eighteen inches, according to circumstances. The 
straight direction and dependent position of this organ 
has been considered as a character sufficiently important 
to distinguish the wolf from the dog ; but when those 
who argue for the specific distinctness of the two animals 
are thus obliged to resort to such trifling characters, 
it shows the very slender nature of the grounds on 
which their arguments are based. Without regarding 
the point in dispute as entirely decided, we strongly 
adhere to the view of Professor Owen and others, who 
regard all kinds of dogs as domesticated varieties of 
the wolf. The fur of the Wolf is long, especially on 
the throat ad below the ears ; its texture rough, wiry, 

and harsh. Ordinarily it is of a yellowish-grey colour, 
being much lighter beneath the neck and belly. Some 
varieties are dark, almost pure black. In northern 
regions the fur becomes light-coloured during the winter, 
and is very frequently quite white; yellow and pied 
varieties have also been described. There are indeed 
many wolves differing very markedly in size and colour, 
and it is quite impossible to determine accurately how 
many of them represent distinct species. Even if this 
were the proper place to discuss the matter, our space 
would not allow a full and complete discussion of the 
subject. The black variety is very common in the 
south of Europe, especially on the Spanish side of the 
Pyrenees. They are very large, tall, and strong in that 
quarter, and their habits are excessively crafty. Colonel 
Hamilton Smith says, that they formerly congregated 
" in the passes of the Pyrenees in large troops; and even 
now the Lobo will accompany strings of mules as soon 
as it becomes dusky. They are seen bounding from 
bush to bush by the side of travellers, and keeping 
parallel with them as they proceed, waiting an oppor- 
tunity to select a victim, and often succeeding, unless 
the muleteers can reach some place of safety before 
dark, and have no dangerous passes to traverse." 
These black wolves are likewise to be found in the 
mountain slopes of Friuli and in the neighbourhood of 
Cattaro. The common grey variety is very widely 
distributed, occurring in various parts of Europe, Asia, 
Africa, and North America. In early historic times it 
roamed at large in the forests of Great Britain, as 
abundantly, perhaps, as it now occurs in some districts 
of France, Hungary, Russia, Norway, and Sweden. 
Their rapacity is much increased during the winter 
months, especially if the cold season prove unusually 
severe and protracted, when the supply of food neces- 
sarily becomes limited. On these occasions their depre- 
dations prove most disastrous. Thus, Dr. Weisseriborn 
informs us, that in one severe winter on the continent, 
they became remarkably bold and violent. About the 
middle of the month of January large numbers infested 
the neighbourhood of Stuttgard, where they succeeded 
in capturing a poor lad, twelve years of age, only a 
few miles outside the city. At night they prowled 
about in packs; and one batch of them, ten in number, 
having forced their way into a farmyard near Agram, 
they committed most serious havoc among the cattle. 
Many crossed over into Prussia from the Polish fron- 
tiers, and a solitary individual deliberately attacked a 
horse in one of the busiest and principal streets in the 
city of Kb'rrigsberg. Many other instances have been 
given of their daring under the extremities of famine. 
The most horrible account is that recorded by Captain 
Williamson in Northern India. On this occasion their 
want of food was not the result of cold, but it was 
owing to the extreme drought of the year 1783. which 
caused a dreadful scarcity of all kinds of food and 
animals during the ensuing season. This famine was 
especially felt in the fertile province of Oude. Thou- 
sands of the natives, we are told, perished from starva- 
tion, " while numbers fell an easy prey to the wolves, 
which, being bereft of their usual means of subsistence 
by the general destruction of all eatable animals, were 
at first compelled, and afterwards found it convenient, 



to attack the wretched wanderers. The little resist- 
ance they experienced in their depredations on these 
unfortunate creatures, emboldened them in an astonish- 
ing manner, and taught them to look with contempt 
and defiance towards a race, of whose powers they had 
heretofore been in awe. Such numbers, however, suc- 
ceeded in rinding their way to the cantonments, that 
we were to all intents in a state of siege. The wolves 
followed, and were to be seen in all directions commit- 
ting havoc among the dying crowd." Here we have 
indeed a sad picture ; for the very loss of food these 
animals experienced by the general scarcity of other 
creatures, was more than amply compensated to them by 
the abundance of perishing men, women, and children. 
For the latter, indeed, the Wolf has a r"emarkable pro- 
pensity at all times. The same writer declares that 
" his favourite object is a child at the breast, which, 
when opportunity serves, he seizes by the throat, there- 
by not only preventing it from giving the alarm by its 
cries, but taking a hold such as enables him to bear 
away his prize without impeding his progress." Very 
few children, even if timely rescued, survive this 
trenchant grip. On another occasion two wolves 
gained access to a bungalow near Cawnpore, where 
they seized a lad thirteen years old, precisely in the 
same manner ; death having ensued, they were in the 
act of ingeniously raising the body over a wall, when 
the fall of a tile aroused the sleeping parents, who 
hurried to the spot, from whence the brutes scampered off 
leaving the victim of their cunning a ghastly spectacle. 
About this time the wolves in the northern districts 
became so familiarized with man, by what had happened 
during the famine, that they very frequently attacked 
adults and even armed persons. Ordinarily, however, 
as we have before remarked, the Wolf is a great coward. 
Sir John Richardson testifies to the same behaviour in 
the case of the American wolf, which is probably a 
mere variety of the common grey species. He states 
that if these wolves were not as fearful as they are 
rapacious, the American buffalo-hunters would be 
unable to preserve their game. " The simple precau- 
tion of tying a handkerchief to a branch, or of blowing 
up a bladder, and hanging it so as to wave in the wind, 
is sufficient to keep herds of wolves at a distance." 
Sir John Richardson also mentions an instance where 
a poor Indian woman was killed by a wolf, within sight 
of her husband, who was coming to rescue her; and it 
is particularly worthy of notice, that in this instance 
the neck was the part of the body seized. In the 
higher northern latitudes many wolves perish during 
the cold season from inanition ; and in some cases, 
when the winter has been unusually severe and pro- 
longed, they perish by hundreds. Some voyagers tell 
us that they have both seen and heard the poor animals 
for under these circumstances we feel inclined to pity 
them howling painfully as they lay stretched and 
famishing on blocks of ice. To these they have resorted 
in the hope of catching seals and other marine animals, 
and while thus employed, the ice-fields have become 
detached and have drifted away into the open sea. 
The Wolf, like the fox, forms burrows or earths ; into 
these they retreat during the day, and likewise occupy 
them for the special purpose of rearing their young. 

The number of cubs produced at a birth seems liable 
to vary, there being usually four or five ; but in the 
case of the American variety, Sir John Richardson 
states that eight or nine are sometimes the result of a 
single litter. A very effectual manner of extirpating 
wolves is by smoking them out of their earths. This 
plan, adopted in India, is extremely simple. All that 
is necessary, is to be provided with a quantity of sticks, 
straw, and lucifer matches, and a few pounds of brim- 
stone. There are generally several outlets to each 
earth ; but it is not necessary to make a fire before 
many of these, especially if the party be well provided 
with fire-arms. Usually it is not considered desirable 
to give any of them the slightest chance of escape ; but, 
under any circumstances, it is advisable to fire the lower 
holes, so as to allow of the fumes being drawn in by a 
strong current of air. The death of the savage tenant 
is usually very painful, and long before he comes to the 
surface, his commencing distress and agony is indicated 
by a painful moaning. Sometimes they rush out ; but 
being more or less stupified by the fumes, they seldom 
make their escape. If they avoid the spears and clubs 
of the natives, who are anxiously watching outside, the 
gun, rifle, or arrow, more surely effects the purpose of 
their destruction. In the foregoing remarks we have 
repeatedly had occasion to point out instances of the cun- 
ning and ingenuity of the Wolf; but we cannot entirely 
quit our account of this animal without quoting another 
interesting illustration of its craftiness. Mr. Lloyd, in 
his " Scandinavian Adventures," thus writes: "At one 
time, indeed, I had serious thoughts of training a fine 
female wolf in my possession as a pointer ; but I was 
deterred, owing to the penchant she exhibited for the 
neighbours' pigs. She was chained in a little inclo- 
sure, just in front of my window, into which those 
animals, when the gate happened to be left open, ordi- 
narily found their way. The devices the wolf employed 
to get them in her power were very amusing. When 
she saw a pig in the vicinity of her kennel, she, evi- 
dently with the purpose of putting him off his guard, 
would throw herself on her side or back, wag her tail 
most lovingly, and look innocence personified. And 
this amiable demeanour would continue until the grunter 
was beguiled within the length of her tether, when, in 
the twinkling of an eye, the prey was clutched." Whilst 
she was young she contented herself with the tail ; but 
after she had realized her full powers, the unsuspect- 
ing swine were snapped up bodily, and, on such occa- 
sions, Mr. Lloyd found it a difficult matter to rescue 
them from her jaws. 

THE BED WOLF (Canis jubata). This is a well- 
marked form, inhabiting the marshy districts of South 
America. The fur has a fine cinnamon-red colour, 
which imparts to the species a very attractive appear- 
ance. The terminal moiety of the tail is white, and 
there is also a white spot under the head. The Red wolf 
is further distinguished by a short black mane, commen- 
cing at the occiput, and proceeding downwards along 
the middle line of the back. According to D'Azara, as 
quoted by Ogilby, these animals "do not commit havoc 
on the herds or smaller flocks; and as they inhabit 
only the extensive lowlands and marshes of Paraguay 
as far as the river Plata, and near its mouth, he has no 



doubt that they feed on rats, guinea pigs, small birds, 
and certain vegetables, if these fall in their way, but 
chiefly on snails, toads, frogs, and other reptiles, and 
on the land crabs, which are abundant in the plains 
and sand-banks. They walk with very long paces, 
run much, and are, D'Azara adds, great plunderers, 
although they always fly from man, and even from 
dogs. They are solitary in their habits, are said to 
swim well, and in their wild state to utter no sound 
but gouaa. which they often and loudly repeat, so as 
to be heard at a great distance." The Payaguas 
Indians call the Red wolf Parcepaga; it is termed 
Culpeu by the natives of Chili. It is also known as 
the Aguara, a name likewise applied to a distinct race 
of wild dogs. 

THE DOG (Canis lupusv&r.familiaris). We do not 
specifically recognize the dog as a distinct animal, and 
have previously expressed our adhesion to the view that 
these useful creatures are neither more nor less than 
domesticated varieties of the common wolf. The natural 
history of the Dog is a subject of considerable interest; 
but it is one so extended that the bare enumeration of 
the leading characteristics and habits of the principal 
vaneties, would require an entire volume for their 
description and elucidation. Those, therefore, who 
wish to follow up this department of the subject, 
must consult works specially devoted to dogs. Some 
of the numerous canine varieties attain a very great 
size, with a proportionate degree of strength; such, for 

example, as the Bloodhound, the Mastiff, the Newfound- 
land, and the Thibet dog (Plate 6, fig. 23) ; others are 
remarkably small, as in certain varieties of Spaniel; 
while a third kind are extremely attenuated both in 
shape and make, as instanced by the little Italian 
Greyhound. In many parts of the world, dogs have 
returned, at least to a certain extent, to their original 
wild condition. In this way they have formed several 
quite distinct races or typical varieties, which are 
found in different parts of Asia, Australia, and the two 
Americas. From a general consideration of these 
forms, it may be fairly stated that, both in structure 
and appearance, they exhibit a much closer approxi- 
mation to the common wolf than obtains in the case 
of any of the varieties which have remained domesti- 
cated. (For a full and able exposition of this subject, 
however, we must refer our readers to Mr. Bell's work 
on " British Quadrupeds," and particularly, also, to the 
early part of Dr. Carpenter's admirable article entitled 
" Varieties of Mankind," contained in the 4th volume 
of Dr. Todd's " Cyclopedia of Anatomy and Physio- 
logy.") The Australian wild dog or Dingo, fig. 30, 
approaches so closely to the wolf, that it was described 
by Bewick as the "New South Wales wolf." The 
Indian Dhole is another interesting example of a return 
to the wild state. In some respects it comes nearer 
the jackal. The fur is of a bay or rufous-brown 
colour; the tail being long and narrow, and not bushy 
at the extremity. It has a remarkably bright eye, and 

Fig. 30. 

Dingo, The Wild Dog of Australia. 

a keen lively countenance. Though strictly wild and 
savage, it will not attack persons unless first molested. 
These Dholes live almost entirely upon other animals, 
especially deer, which they hunt in large packs; 
authentic instances are also recorded where they have 
attacked and overcome tigers. Some have doubted this, 
but the evidence is complete; and, besides, there can 
be nothing improbable in the circumstance of wild dogs 
attacking tigers, when it is a well-known fact that com- 
mon spaniels will readily do the same thing ; many a life, 

indeed, has been spared by the courage of the latter. 
When engaged in the chase or on the scent the Dholes 
do not howl or bark, but, at times of much excitement 
in the course, they utter a kind of plaintive whining 
note. Among other kinds of wild dogs which are more 
or less closely allied to the wolf, we may perhaps 
class the Caygotte or Coyotl, whose fur has a whitish- 
brown colour. This animal is an inhabitant of South 
America, and feeds upon small quadrupeds, and also 
upon maize and other vegetable matters. 




Having in our introductory observations on the Car- 
nivora selected examples of the present family for the 
purpose of enunciating the leading characteristics of the 
order mainly on account of its forming the most typical 
subdivision of that great mammalian group the obser- 
vations which we have now to offer must necessarily 
assume a supplementary character. In the remarks 
above alluded to, attention was drawn to the general 
massiveness of all the osseous elements entering into 
the solid framework of the typical carnivorous skeleton 
this adaptation to the destructive habits of the crea- 
ture being more particularly conspicuous in the structure 
of the skull. In the accompanying representation of 
the cranium of a tiger fig. 31 the remarkable short- 
ening of the facial bones, associated with the powerful 


Skull of the Tiger. 

grasping teeth, and a surprising transverse breadth of 
the skull below the orbital and temporal fossre, are 
remarkably significant. The teeth are thirty in num- 
ber, and of these we find only four true and ten 
spurious molars, the ultimate grinder on either side of 
the upper series being tuberculated. This tooth, how- 
ever, is particularly small, and widened laterally ; but, 
with this exception, all the molars are much compressed 
from side to side, and the crowus being sharp and 
pointed, the two series, during the action of the jaws, 
close in upon each other like the blades of a pair of 
scissors. Their function is therefore essentially cutting, 
while that of the huge dagger-like canines, assisted by 
the incisors, consists in tearing and lacerating the due 
performance and integrity of these actions being secured 
by the strong temporal and nuchal muscles acting 
upon the occiput and the lower jaw ; and farther, to 
prevent any lateral motion, such as we find in those 
animals which grind and triturate their food, the 
condyles or articulating facets of the last-named bone 
are firmly lodged in the corresponding transversely- 
elongated glenoid sockets. Co-ordinating with this 
prehensile and offensive armature of the jaws, we also 
find the structural modifications of the feet eminently 
suggestive. Those of the anterior limbs are pentadac- 
tylous, while the posterior feet are tetradactylous ; but 
the peculiarities which principally distinguish them 
arise out of the beautiful provision made for the pre- 
servation of their formidable retractile claws. The 
mechanical contrivances here displayed are perfect. 
Not only are the actions of flexion, extension, pronation, 
and supination amply provided for by the peculiar 

manner in which the bones of the fore limb or arm are 
articulated together, but the muscles of this member 
are so prodigiously developed, that, as is well known, 
a single blow from the sledge-hammer- like paw of a 
lion or tiger will fracture the skull of a man, and. deal 
death to almost any animal that may happen to come 
within its ponderous swing. In addition to this, we 
find the claws ordinarily maintained in a state of 
retraction ; this concealed position is accomplished by 
the agency of three elastic ligaments or bands, which 
being severally placed above and on either side of the 
digit, serve to connect the ultimate phalanx to the 
penultimate segment of the same toe (fig. 32). All 
injury to the claw is hereby prevented a circumstance 
which, associated with the pres- 
ence of resilient sole-pads of Fig. 32. 
thickened submucous tissue 
placed under the ball of the toe, 
also serves to secure the charac- 
teristically graceful and noiseless 
tread of the feline animal. 
Antagonistic to the elastic bind- 
ing cords above mentioned, the 
tendon or string of a large 
muscle called the flexor profun- 
dus perforans is inserted below, 
into the base of the ultimate 
claw-supporting phalanx. When, 
therefore, it becomes necessary 
to display or employ these fearful 
instruments of destruction, a 
violent contraction of the muscle 
in question which of course Lion's Foot dissected, 
involves a drawing back of the 
tendon, and a consequent thrusting forward of the claw 
is the principal agency by which this change is 
effected. There are likewise other small extensor 
muscles inserted at the upper part of the digit, serving 
to steady the movement and regulate the degree of 
protrusion, according to the will of the animal. But, we 
have further to remark, that, although these constitute 
the most prominent features in the several structural 
changes adapted to the wants and habits of the feline 
mammalia, there are others equally worthy of being 
mentioned, such as the strong, horny, recurved papillae of 
the tongue, formed for rasping the soft flesh from off the 
bones of their slaughtered victims the comparatively 
small salivary glands, showing how little mastication is 
required the uninterrupted chain of osseous elements 
extending from the larynx to the head the flexibility 
of the vertebral column the small coecum the short- 
ness of the intestinal canal, and, more particularly, the 
simple cylindrical stomach, vhich explains that the 
food is more readily reduced to the condition required 
for nutriment, than obtains in the herbivorous quad- 
rupeds. Do not these, and other peculiarities elsewhere 
noticed, satisfactorily demonstrate that the typical 
carnivor is intended to occupy the field in the economy 
of creation for which his powers are so befittingly 
adapted? Surely one would suppose that the legitimacy 
of such a self-evident conclusion could not be denied ! 
Are we perverting truth to say, that the lion was not 
formed to eat straw like an ox ? Unfortunately, there 



are some so-called educated people who would fain 
persuade us that we are wrong ! It is sad to reflect 
that some persons can be found who will thus resist 
the evid nee of their senses, in order to gratify a 
childish crotchet, or to support a pre-conceived dogma! 
Those of our readers who have perused the address 
issued previous to the publication of this part of the 
"Museum of Natural History," will appreciate the 
motive which thus leads us to offer a few reflections on 
the habits of this highly interesting class of animals. 
Not many years ago the writer of this article had the 
misfortune to be present at a lecture given in the 
northern metropolis, by a gentleman whose mind 
appeared to be singularly ill-adapted for the reception 
of scientific truth, but whose perverted views, neverthe- 
less, enjoy a certain credence among individuals capable 
of indulging extreme opinions. Thus, he undertook to 
inform his audience that the several organs of a 
carnivorous animal, in which we have been accustomed 
to recognize teleologic evidences of beauty, harmony, 
and design, have all been diverted from their proper 
development by an evil agency that the claws, teeth, 
and stomach, which we have just shown to be severally 
adapted to the seizure, tearing, and digesting of the 
flesh of other animals, do not, indeed, exhibit evidences 
of design, benevolence, and wisdom in the Creator, but 
rather, evidences of another power, which has caused 
the anterior extremity to become a hideous weapon of 
destruction which has caused those teeth to display 
their tearing and cutting surfaces which has caused 
the stomach to assume a vicarious action ; all of these 
organs severally contributing to render the creature 
ferocious, cruel, and destructive habits, which, in this 
anti-zoologist's view, the animal was not intended to 
have! Such is an illustration of the melancholy infer- 
ences to which unscientific dogmatism inevitably leads 
a mere bigoted mimicry of mediaeval times! For 
the successful cultivation of natural- history science it 
is above all things necessary that our minds be imbued 
with a love of truth, in whatever aspect it may present 
itself. If we perceive that the integrity of organized 
existences on this planet can only be maintained by the 
reciprocal action of antagonistic forces, and that the 
balance of this reciprocity involves and guarantees the 
welfare of every living entity, needing a residence on 
the habitable globe ; if, we repeat, it is clearly evident 
that any departure from this divinely-appointed law 
would, on the one hand, only bring about a redundancy, 
or, on the other, a deterioration ; what, we ask, is to 
be gained by impertinently criticising this universal 
law, this wise method of divine government, fixed on 
the eternal principles of justice, equity, and compensa- 
tion ? In the nicely-adjusted balance of probabilities 
we recognize abundant good to all living beings whose 
immediate wants are thus duly provided for, and we 
are content to admire and adore the power which 
regulates the destiny of every species. In conclusion, 
we have only to observe that the Fdldce are widely 
distributed in all quarters of the world, except in 
Australia, the larger species being, for the most part, 
confined to tropical regions. 

THE WILD CAT (Felts Cains), is more or less abun- 
dant throughout the well-wooded and hilly districts of 

Europe, and was at one time very plentiful in these 
islands. It is still found in Wales, in the north-west 
counties of England, and more commonly in Scotland, 
and certain parts of Ireland. It is not quite two feet 
long, exclusive of the tail, which measures about twelve 
inches. The body is stouter than in the common 
house cat, the tail presenting an almost uniform thick- 
ness from one end to the other, except at the tip, where 
it is slightly swollen. The fur has a yellowish-grey 
colour generally, but beneath the throat and belly it is 
nearly white ; the sides of the body, the legs, the tail, 
and summit of the head being striped with brownish- 
black bands, which becomes lighter as they approach 
the ventral line. A longitudinal black band runs along 
the middle of the back, extending from the head to the 
root of the tail ; this last named organ being black at 
the tip. The wild cat was formerly considered in 
England a beast of the chase, but, except for mere 
sport, it does not appear to have been considered of 
any great value. It is reported, by those who have 
seen it in its wild haunts, to be extremely ferocious, a 
circumstance which has doubtless contributed to bring 
about its almost total extinction. The female produces 
four or five cubs at a birth, and selects either a hollow 
tree, a rocky recess, or, according to Sir William 
Jardine, a large bird's nest, for the protection and 
rearing of the young. 

THE DOMESTIC CAT (Felis domestica). The con- 
curring testimony of the majority of British naturalists 
favours the notion that our common house cat is a 
distinct species, or, at least, that it is not a mere 
domesticated variety of the European wild cat. It is 
well known that the common cat frequently betakes 
itself to the woods, and after a time assumes a semi- 
savage condition. This was at first considered sufficient 
ground for believing it to be identical with Felis Catus; 
but when, on a closer examination, its characters were 
not found to have reverted to the state of those 
ordinarily present in the wild species, considerable 
doubt arose on the question. The colour of the fur is 
frequently indistinguishable, but a very marked dis- 
similarity is seen in the tail, which, instead of being 
uniformly thick throughout, as obtains in the wild cat, 
is, in the form under consideration, much narrower and 
tapering also toward the extremity. Sir William Jardine 
has made some very interesting remarks on this subject. 
He says there is probably " no animal that so soon 
loses its cultivation and returns apparently to a state 
completely wild. A trifling neglect of proper feeding 
or attention will often cause them to depend upon their 
own resources, and the tasting of some wild or living 
food will tempt them to seek it again, and to leave 
then* civilized home. They then prowl about in the 
same manner as their congeners, crouching among 
cover, and carefully concealing themselves from all 
publicity. They breed in the woods or thickets, and 
support themselves upon birds or young animals. Few 
extensive rabbit-warrens want two or three depredators 
of this kind, where they commit great havoc, particu- 
larly among the young in summer. They sleep and 
repose in the holes, and are often taken in the snares 
set for their prey." Sir W. Jardine once stumbled 
upon one of these truants which had just kittened, and 



by her side there lay two dead leverets ! In the ordi- 
nary domesticated condition, the cat is certainly of a 
capricious disposition, but its habits are too well known 
to demand any lengthened exposition. 

THE .EGYPTIAN CAT (Felis maniculata). The 
Frankfort naturalist, Ruppell, who discovered this 
species during his travels in Nubia, has expressed his 
opinion that our common domestic cat owes its origin 
to this species. Temminck and others have supported 
this persuasion, and authorities are still divided on the 
subject. After weighing the arguments on either side, 
all that we can say, is, that there appears more pro- 
bability of our tame animals having descended from 
the ^Egyptian, than from the European wild form ; but 
the matter is by no means settled. In the ^Egyptian 
cat the limbs are more slender, while the tail is 
narrower and longer than in Felis Catus. The fur is 
greyish-yellow generally; the cheek, throat, under part 
of the throat, and belly being white. A dark stripe 
runs along the central line of the back, and the limbs 
are crossed by several faint blackish bands. The 
length of the body is about twenty inches, exclusive of 
the tail, which measures three-quarters of a foot. 

THE PAMPAS CAT (Felis pajeros). This species is 
extensively distributed over the South American 
plains, from the banks of the La Plata to the Straits of 
Magellan. It is about the size of the European wild 
eat, measuring twenty-six inches, exclusive of the tail, 
which is about a foot from root to tip. The fur is 
particularly long, the individual hairs being from three 
to five inches in length ; it is of a pale yellowish -grey 
colour generally, and banded at the sides by numerous 
irregularly-disposed stripes of a brownish tinge. Along 
the central line of the back the hairs have a brownish- 
black colour, which is more or less continued on the 
tail. The head is comparatively small and rounded, 
the ears having a moderate development. The tail is 
short, thick, and rather bushy ; but it does not exhibit 
any circular markings or spots. According to D'Azara, 
the natives call it Goto Pajero, or jungle cat. It is 
said to feed chiefly upon guinea-pigs. 

THE CHATI (Felis mitis) is somewhat larger than 
our common domestic cat, measuring three feet includ- 
ing the tail, for which eleven inches may be reckoned. 
The fur displays a multitude of irregularly arranged 
dark-brown patches on a general ground colour of pale 
yellow above, and white below; on the limbs these 
spots are more rounded, and there are two crescent- 
shaped collar-like bands beneath the throat. The ears 
are blackish externally; the pupil of the eye is rounded. 
The tail is sl : ghtly ringed towards the tip. Like the 
foregoing, the Chati is an inhabitant of the plains of 
South America. The female preserved in the Parisian 
menagerie, was extremely gentle and fond of attention. 

THE CHIBIGTJAZU (Felis chibiguazu) is also a 
South American animal, being rather larger than the 
above, and measuring, according to D'Azara, four feet 
including the tail, which is about thirteen inches long. 
Some regard it as identical with the chati, others refer 
it to the ocelot ; probably it is distinct. It is exceed- 
ingly cunning and destructive in its habits; approaching 
and entering human habitations only in the darkest 
nights, and then, not content with carrying off as much 

poultry as it can manage, it destroys others that have 
been left behind. If taken young it becomes very 
tractable and amusing, but if allowed much liberty it 
soon displays its fowl-destroying propensities. 

THE SEEVAL (Felis serval) is a native of southern 
Africa, and is called the Tiger boschkatti by the Dutch 
colonists at the Cape. By others it is called the 
leopard. According to Mr. Andersson some of the 
African tribes believe the real tiger to exist in that 
country, but it is evident that they refer to the serval. 
This animal is remarkably savage. " One night," says 
Mr. Andersson, " I was suddenly awoke by a furious 
barking of our dogs, accompanied by cries of distress. 
Suspecting that some beast of prey had seized upon 
one of them, I leaped, undressed, out of my bed, and, 
gun in hand, hurried to the spot whence the cries pro- 
ceeded. The night was pitchy dark, however, and I 
could distinguish nothing; yet, in the hope of frighten- 
ing the intruder away, I shouted at the top of my 
voice. In a few moments a torch was lighted, and we 
then discovered the tracks of a leopard, and also large 
patches of blood. On counting the dogs, I found that 
' Summer,' the best and fleetest of our kennel, was 
missing. As it was in vain that I called and searched 
for him, I concluded that the tiger had carried him 
away ; and, as nothing further could be done that 
night, I again retired to rest, but the fate of the poor 
animal continued to haunt me, and drove sleep away. 
I had seated myself on the front chest of the waggon, 
when suddenly the melancholy cries were repeated ; 
and, on reaching the spot, I discovered ' Summer ' 
stretched at full length in the middle of a bush. 
Though the poor creature had several deep wounds 
about his throat and chest, he at once recognized me, 
and, wagging his tail, looked wistfully in my face. 
The sight sickened me as I carried him into the house, 
where, in time, however, he recovered." It is also 
satisfactory to learn that the savage animal was found 
on the day succeeding the encounter. On being dis- 
covered the beast took refuge in a tree, and was not 
dispatched before it had received sixteen wounds, some 
of the arrows employed for this purpose having been 
poisoned. In Dr. Gray's arrangement of the Felidse 
contained in the British Museum, this species is 
denominated Leoparclus serval. 

THE NEPATJLESE CAT (Felis N<paulensis). In the 
list of feline mammalia preserved in our National 
Museum, this species is called the waved cat or Felis 
inconspicuus, and it is believed by Dr. Gray to be 
identical with the Bengal cat. Dr. Horsfield considers 
these forms to be distinct. The body is scarcely two 
feet long, exclusive of the tail, for which another ten or 
eleven inches must be allowed. The general colour of 
the fur is that of a tawny-grey, the surface being 
marked with spots and linear patches of a deep-black 
colour, somewhat irregularly disposed. The throat and 
under part of the belly are whitish ; the spots on the 
tail being uniform, rounded, and arranged so as to 
resemble transverse bands. 

THE KTTWTJK (Felis Javanensis) is also a small 
species, principally distinguished by its comparatively 
short tail and rather long legs ; it is also only provided 
with three molars on either side of each jaw. The body 



is twenty-three inches in length, not including the tail, 
which measures between eight and nine inches. The 
fur has a greyish-brown colour generally, the under 
part of the throat, neck, and belly being nearly white ; 
it is long, and of a softish texture. Four dark brownish- 
black bands pass from the crown of the head to the 
root of the tail, while the sides of the body are marked 
by sparsely-scattered oblong patches of a similar 
colour; having a tendency to assume a linear arrange- 
ment. Similar spots occur on the limbs and tail. 
The eyes are placed well forward, and have a circular 
pupil. The ears are small and rounded. According 
to Dr. Horsfield the " Kuwuk is found in large forests in 
every part of Java. It forms a retreat in hollow trees, 
where it remains during the day; at night it ranges about 
in quest of food, and often visits the villages at the 
skirts of the forests, committing depredations among the 
hen-roosts. The natives ascribe to it an uncommon 


sagacity, asserting that in order to approach the fowln 
unsuspected, and to surprise them, it imitates theii 
voice. It feeds chiefly on fowls, birds, and small quad- 
rupeds; but, in case of necessity, it also devours carrion." 
It is, we are further informed, a very fierce and untame- 
able animal. In the British Museum list of preserved 
specimens, it is designated Leojiardus Javanensis. 

THE BTJLTJ (Felis Sumatrana). Asfsir as regards 
size, the comparative shortness of the tail, the length of 
the limbs, and in the disposition of its spotted markings, 
this species very closely resembles the foregoing. 
According to Horsfield, the general ground colour of 
the fur "is ferruginous, inclining to yellowish-grey, more 
intense on the back, the crown of the head, and the 
upper part of the tail ; paler on the sides, and passing 
into whitish-grey on the cheeks, breast, abdomen, and 
the interior of the thighs and legs." The Bulu (fig. 33) 
is an inhabitant of Sumatra, Java, and the contiguous 


The Bulu (Fel 

islands. In the list of specimens preserved in our Na- 
tional Museum, it is also associated with the leopards. 

THE OCELOT (Felis pardalis) inhabits the forests of 
tropical America, and is an attractive-looking species. 
The body is about three feet in length, exclusive of the 
tail, which measures from twelve to fourteen inches. 
The general colour of the fur is fulvous-grey, the inferior 
parts of the throat, neck, and belly being nearly white. 
The entire surface is beautifully streaked with irregu- 
larly shaped patches of a black colour ; these spots 
having a marked tendency to form longitudinal bands, 
especially at the upper part of the body. The ears are 
small and rounded, the limbs comparatively short. 
Respecting its habits, the Ocelot is a good climber, and 
is said to sham a state of death in order to capture 
monkeys, whose curiosity leads them to approach and 
inspect the simulating carcass. It is capable of being 
tamed, but, like others of the cat tribe, its disposition is 
capricious. Mr. Blyth mentions an instance where 
" a gentleman had succeeded in taming an ocelot, 
which for three years, enjoyed the range of his house 

i Suruatraua). 

and garden as freely as a domestic cat, appearing 
thoroughly reclaimed. One evening, however, at the 
fireside, when a child of three 3'ears old was playing 
with it, as it had often done before, the animal being 
irritated, seized the infant by the throat, and killed it 
before assistance could be rendered." In the British 
Museum's list, this animal is classed with the leopards. 
THE CHAUS (Felis Chans) is a kind of Lynx. It 
has a wide geographical distribution, inhabiting Egypt, 
Persia, the borders of the Caspian, and also many 
parts of central and northern India. It is chieflj 
found in low marshy grounds and jungles, where it 
preys upon small quadrupeds and birds, and also, 
according to Riippell, on fishes. The fur is compara- 
tively long, loose, soft, and of a yellowish-grey colour. 
The tail is short, thick, and indistinctly marked by four 
or five alternating black and greyish-white bands. 
These occur towards the extremity, which terminates 
somewhat abruptly. In common with other allied 
forms, the ears are much pointed, being tufted at the 
summit by a pencil of fiue black hairs, half an inch in 



length. The Chaus is not very easily tamed. The 
Booted lynx Felis caligata of Olivier appears to be 
identical with it. In the catalogue of specimens pre- 
served in the British Museum it is designated Chaus 

THE EUROPEAN LYNX (Felis Lynx). There are 
several forms of Lynx, regarded by some as so many 
distinct species, which are only varieties of this type. 
Among these may be mentioned the Felis virgata of 
Nilsson; the F. cervaria of Temminck, being an Asiatic 
form ; and perhaps also the F. pardina of Oken, found 
in Spain and southern Europe. The European lynx 
is about three feet long, not including the short tail, 
which measures six inches. The fur is long, rough, 
and of a rufous-grey colour above, the under parts of 
the throat and belly being more or less white. The 
sides are indistinctly marked with oblong spots, and the 
free end of the tail is tipped with black. The ears are 
hairy, and pencilled at the upper part ; the limbs stout, 
and comparatively short. During the winter season 
the general colour of the fur is m